This past weekend, The Marcus Center ran live action graphic novel "Intergalactic Nemesis", with the final performance on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. "Intergalactic Nemesis" is a combination of a graphic novel and radio play that gives the audience a unique behind-the-scenes look as they three actors voice the characters, a pianist provides the soundtrack, and a someone provides all the sound effects to give life to the graphic novel on screen.
"Intergalactic Nemesis" is a science fiction adventure set in the 30's where Pulitzer Prize winner Molly Sloan and her assistant Timmy Mendez travel the world on the heels of the next big story. What follows is a time-traveling, alien-invading journey to save the world from the maniacal workings of the Zygonians.
In a recent interview with Writer/Director/Producer Jason Neulander, he commented on the range in audience saying,
We see families come, parents come with their kids, we have people who remember radio from when they were kids, we get people who are kind of the nerd gaming/"Game of Thrones"/you-name-it in pop culture nowadays crowd and everybody in-between, so it's pretty cool.
And while there was a range in age, the show has a specific demographic. "Intergalactic Nemesis" is geared much more towards kids around 12-years-old and those who have an enduring love of graphic novels. Those not interested in science fiction or comic books may find the concept and live performance interesting, but not for the two hour duration of the show.
The unique concept of seeing the voice actors, musician, and sound effects man work to make the story come to life is certainly entertaining and worth seeing. All five performers on stage effectively bring the graphic novel to life while remaining in character and keeping with the tone of the progressing story. A highlight of the show is sound effects provider, Buzz Moran, as he uses a great number of everyday items to create various sounds from footsteps to ray guns. All of the three voice actors show similar versatility in playing multiple roles with different accents. Most notably of the three actors is Christopher Lee Gibson, who showed great range in his vocal performance while simultaneously utilizing physical comedy and expressiveness for those watching the actors as opposed to the screen.
However, with so many things to see, it's hard to get into the stride of the performance and focus on the actual graphic novel showing on screen. Between three expressive voice actors, a pianist, and live sound effects, the screen in back of the stage is the last place your eye turns when it should be the first. After a while the audience adjusts and begins looking at the screen first, but during quick progressions, one can easily miss a slide of the artwork because of everything else going on in front of them.
So while "Intergalactic Nemesis" is a truly unique experience that gives the audience a look at what goes into bringing a graphic novel to life, this may provide too much stimulation to focus on the core of the performance. The show delivers a live action graphic novel as promised, however if you're not immediately drawn to this concept, this probably isn't the show to see.