Mrs Perfect and the Unexpected Visit of Evil!
nytheatre.com review by Hilary Krishnan
June 12, 2011
Great theater can happen in the most unexpected of places, under many different circumstances. At times, it may be found in five acts of Shakespeare with a sold-out Broadway house. Maybe it’s the hottest new play in a downtown venue. This month, I found it in a van. In a ten minute rock musical. In Brooklyn.
I have seen Theater in a Van’s lovingly decorated van parked around various Williamsburg streets and finally had an opportunity to see what was going inside. As part of The Brick’s Comic Book Theater Festival, Theater in a Van presents Crystal Skillman’s delightful gem, Mrs Perfect and the Unexpected Visit of Evil! A thrilling tale of good and evil, the origins of our characters’ superhero powers, and restoring balance in their world.
My companion for the evening and I were made invisible by way of super powers, led discreetly into the rear of the van to attend what seemed to be the meeting of some Super Hero Alliance. The following ten minutes were filled with absolute delight! The guitarist, hanging out from around the driver’s seat, provides music for the show’s witty and unbelievably catchy tunes. Skillman does a terrific job to incorporate the joy of comic book storytelling and an edgy sense of humor into this fast-paced romp. Just when you think it can’t get any better, two small silly cardboard puppets are revealed to act out a flashback. Theater in a Van takes it to the next level by incorporating the audiences’ super power suggestions into an impromptu finale.
Rock music, puppets and super heros—what’s not to like? Theater in a Van really gives you a full experience in such a short period of time, and manages to acknowledge and celebrate all of their limitations in a way that only seems to excel the work. I left the van encouraging everyone outside of The Brick to be sure to take ten minutes to get inside the van and see some truly thrilling theater. This riotously funny show may be ending soon, but I urge you to see anything and everything you can that happens in that van in the future. The work is innovative, accessible, and wildly exciting. It’s inspiring to know that the future generation of theater artists in Brooklyn really know how to think outside the (black) box.