BOTTOM LINE: If you're looking for an excuse to dust of your glittery go-go boots, Go-Go see Killers.
Imagine New York City ten years in the future. Are the rich getting richer? The poor getting poorer? Are the sidewalks swarmed with strutting glamazons? Are these glittering gangs of gals hounded by clueless men who are ultimately unappreciative of genuine girl power? Do many find themselves overwhelmed by loud pop colors, strobe lights and DJ disco delights?
Can the above illustration also be used to describe your jaunt through Times Square this afternoon?
Rachel Klein Productions' Go-Go Killers offers a glimpse into 2019 city life and it doesn't seem as if much has changed. In Killers, we follow two squads of spicy, slinky, sexy, supermodel-superheroes as they swish their way around the country, exterminating the nation's wealthiest in attempts to restore economic balance. Playwright Sean Gill chooses the lens of 1960s girlsploitation cinema through which to filter his vision of the not-so-distant future, complete with comic book-y conversation, fist-to-face fight sequences and a sparkling series of coquettishly choreographed scene transitions. With all of this and a cast of stunning sexpots in hot pants and knee-high boots, Killers succeeds in creating a fun and flirty cosmos made only more compelling with a small dose of danger.
Unfortunately, this production of Killers does have a handful of issues to overcome. First, the space seems inappropriate for this production. The depth of the stage appears to be too great and often the actors are swallowed up in its shadowy abyss. The lighting does not aid the situation and repeatedly, the actors play in shade even when standing centerstage.
Second, the quality of performance throughout the duration of the show is very inconsistent. When the cast's comic timing is precise, the dialogue punches. Oft-times, however, the timing trips and the dialogue falls flat. In addition, most of the actors share a similar dance skill level with only one or two who fall below it. Unfortunately, the more-experienced dancers far outshine the less-experienced, drawing uncomfortable attention to those actors not so movement-inclined.
Despite these difficulties, however, the Killers cast does possess much power and strength. Joe Stipek, for example, shines as socialite Eugene St. Ives. Especially remarkable is Stipek's vocal characterization. His pitch, cadence and pronunciation all resemble men of this retro genre and indicate an in-depth study of film of that era. Equally exceptional is Elizabeth Stewart's Electra, the leader of the Furies gang. Not only is she absolutely stunning, but like Stipek, she possesses a rich understanding of the film genre which inspired Killers. Her delivery is sharp and studied and her voice smokey and sultry. Lastly, not to be out done by the ladies, the three Go-Go Boys shimmy about throughout, adding a touch of decadent debauchery. Especially wonderful is Brian Rubiano, whose endless energy and effervescent smile hypnotically hold the audience's eyes.
(Rachel Klein Productions' Go-Go Killers performs every Friday and Saturday night at 8pm until May 30th at The Sage Theater, 711 Seventh Avenue, 2nd floor. Tickets are $15 and are available online at www.smarttix.com.)