- By Allison Starcher
- Photo Courtesy of Geffen Playhouse
Revenge Song’s 17th century heroine’s journey from swashbuckling swordswoman to opera singer on the lam couldn’t be timelier. Shakespeare may have dabbled with themes of cross-dressing and gender fluidity but Vampire Cowboys writer Qui Nguyen has fashioned a fully expressed queer female superhero from the true-life escapades of Julie d’Aubigny. Darkly comedic, this musical melds this New York-based theatre company’s comic book aesthetic with athletic choreography to create a uniquely raucous live theatre experience.
In this age of instant fame and 24-hour news cycles it’s a rare treat to be introduced to a historical figure with such a spectacular life story. Commissioned as part of the Geffen Playhouse’s New Play Development Program, Revenge Song traces Julie’s stranger-than-fiction character arc as she battles external forces and internal demons in pursuit of love and self-acceptance. When a play’s description cautions, “This production contains strong sexual content, explicit language, stage violence, strobe lighting effects, theatrical haze, and is not recommended to those under the age of 14,” you can bet you are in for an all-out extravaganza. Robert Ross Parker directs this racially diverse and battle-trained cast to deliver thought provoking performances with a punk-rock attitude.
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