THE SUPERHERO WHO LOVED ME
THE SUPERHERO WHO LOVED ME
By Chris Craddock
A WORLD PREMIERE
is being HELD OVER at
The Playhouse (10033 80 Avenue)
Thursday, August 31 @ 7pm
Friday, September 1 @ 9:30pm
TICKETS NOW ON SALE!!
April Banigan & Kristi Hansen
with SPECIAL VOICE GUESTS
Directed by Wayne Paquette
Production Design & Stage Management by Tessa Stamp
Poster by Matt Schuurman
Photographs by Mat Simpson Photography http://matsimpson.co/
Produced by April Banigan, Kristi Hansen, Tessa Stamp,
Wayne Paquette, Braydon Dowler-Coltman, & Luc Tellier
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Two old girlfriends re-connect after an alien invasion ravages Earth. One is a divorcee putting her life back together. The other is one of Earth’s Most Powerful Heroes! Award-winning writer Chris Craddock returns to fringe playwriting with his first new work in six years!
WHERE CAN I SEE IT?
The Superhero Who Loved Me is a part of the 36th Edmonton International Fringe Festival
The Playhouse (10033 80 Avenue)
Friday, August 18 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 19 9:15 p.m.
Sunday, August 20 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 22 9:15 p.m.
Wednesday, August 23 6:30 p.m.
Friday, August 25 4:15 p.m.
Saturday, August 26 4:15 p.m.
Sunday, August 27 2:00 p.m.
WHERE CAN I BUY MY TICKETS?
Tickets for the 2017 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival
On Sale Now!!
You may purchase your tickets:
- Online: https://tickets.fringetheatre.ca/performances.php?eventId=601:1301
- By phone at (780) 409-1910
- In person at any Festival box offices (locations and times will be announced August 1)
- In person from TIX on the Square or La Cite Francophone
Chris Craddock’s first new play in six years, The Superhero Who Loved Me is another go-see-it production. After a wine-fuelled social media blitz, Georgina (April Bannigan), an empty-nested divorcée, ends up reuniting with her formerly handicapped school friend, Sam (Kristi Hansen). Turns out Sam isn’t in a wheelchair anymore … thanks to advances in mad science, she’s now the superhero, The Governess. A smell-it-from-a-mile-away romance ensues. While the most superhero love we’ve been fed over the years focuses on conquest—male superhero wins the beautiful woman—chivalry here is dumped for domestic scenes and the gentler undulations of lesbian love. The odd narrative structure—it is flat, and it is domestic, and, spoiler, Georgina ends up having a baby and they raise him and that’s kind of her life’s work—pulls apart generic conventions of bash-boom, smash ka-pow superhero stories. This play’s quiet yet trenchant perspective—the banality of a mortal being married to a superhero, how little glory one witnesses—is what makes this play unmissable, but also what may be missed.
5 Stars out of 5
“Nobody expects an extra-dimensional portal to open in the world.”
Generally true. And nobody expects to go home with a superhero, drink too much vino, and hear about her workplace issues — fighting interplanetary terrorism on top of the sexism and homophobia of the military and all that.
You’re in luck if it happens, though. Chris Craddock’s new play, his first at the Fringe in half a dozen summers, lets us do all of the above, and more. It’s clever, it’s funny, it’ll unexpectedly touch your heart with thoughts about human mortality and the life arc of relationships.
The Superhero Who Loved Me takes behind the scenes in the life of Sam (Kristi Hansen) aka The Governess (“we suit up, and go!”) and Georgie (April Banigan), the woman she loves. They’re high school friends who re-connect after The Invasion through the old-fashioned techno-magic of Facebook messaging: “I know it’s been forever….”
There is nothing more complicated, in this world (or any other) than the back story of a superhero. And Sam’s, which involves a 10-year coma and a cure for fatal infirmity with super-power side effects, is no exception. And it’s sneakily woven into the play, with Craddock’s usual dexterity in dialogue, assisted materially by the actors. Hansen is a rueful and lonely closeted superhero under intricate constraints of disclosure. It’s for Banigan’s Georgie to convey the wonder, the terror, the incredulity of a mere mortal, falling in love across all kinds of lines. And she does. Their scenes together are sexy and romantic.
As you might expect, an unconventional relationship hits the usual rocky patches —hard. The friction between splashy superhero career vs. anonymous home/motherhood takes on new dimensions when one partner goes to work every day armed to kick ass and save billions of lives. The Superhero Who Loved Me sets two different sets of dramatic expectations (and entire lexicons, for that matter) against each other in a witty way.
And speaking of heroic tasks, it’s for director Wayne Paquette to figure out how on earth to make action-thriller scenes be jazzy on a tiny stage, and then flip into a domestic family drama side. And damn, he does it: his production is theatrical and fun.
“It all started with the invasion …” are the terse words that blast off Chris Craddock’s first new Fringe play in six years.
As quick as a photon torpedo we are ensnared in this galactic tale. Observes Superhero Samantha (The Governess), matter of factly, “We suited up and left …”
Of course, after many adventures, with a hardy band of Superheros that includes Doctor X and an unnamed multimillionaire superhero, the little green men are defeated and the future of the Earth is secured.
Thus begins Craddock’s tender tale of love and superheros. He is of course no stranger to comic books, Marvel and sci-fi lore. As the Fringe’s resident expert in all things that go “Whack,” “Crack” and “Blam” (See The Harold of Galactus – please!) the playwright is uniquely qualified to present the first intergalactic RomCom.
Samantha (Kristi Hansen), resting up from her exertions after saving the world, meets her one time high school BFF – played by April Banigan. The two fall in love and soon are enjoying superhero supersex. Breathes the Governess, “I have mastered superspeed in various parts of my body.”
Of course, the love of a mortal and a God must flame out, as did the Praxillus System when Dr. Timicin’s helium ignition went spectacularly wrong.
All fun aside, this story is involving – while filled with exotic comic book lore. And I must also admit to a lump in my throat as the two inevitably meet when their impossible love has died. One is still a youthful immortal – the other an aging ambassador. But Banigan gets to say the glorious words, “You were the best thing that ever happened to me.” (Choke!) (Sob!) (Whimper!)
4 Stars out of 5
Colin MacLean – Gig City
MEET THE TEAM
Chris Craddock – PLAYWRIGHT
Chris Craddock is an Edmonton-based Actor/Producer/Writer. His theatre work in Canada has been recognized with four Sterling Awards and two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, and his film Turnbuckle was nominated for two AMPIA Awards. He is the proud recipient of the Embridge Emerging Artist award, the Centennial Medal for his contribution to the Arts in Alberta, and the Alberta Book Award for his collection of plays for teens Naked at School. His musical BASH’d (co-written and performed with Nathan Cuckow) received a 2007 GLAAD media award for achievement in NYC Theatre. His comedy series, Tiny Plastic Men ran four seasons on SuperChannel, garnering many Canadian Screen Award nominations. Most recently, Chris was honoured with the Edmonton Film Award for his first film.
His plays have been included at the New Repertory Theatre in Boston, The Zipper Theatre in NYC, Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles, Calgary’s Sage Theatre and High Performance Rodeo, The Magnetic North Festival, Vancouver Comedy Festival, and many more.
Chris recently created a new play based on the novel Irma Voth, by Miriam Toews. He is also observing the release of his first feature film as a writer-director It’s Not my Fault, and I Don’t Care Anyway, starring the late, great, Alan Thicke.
Wayne Paquette – DIRECTOR
Wayne is the artistic director of Blarney Productions, and the artistic coordinator at the Citadel Theatre. Some of his credits include directing Blackbird, The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead, assistant directing/stage managing The Glass Menagerie, Doubt, A Parable; assistant directing The Wizard of Oz, Shining City, The Forbidden Phoenix (Citadel Theatre); directing The Country; Glorious; The Dazzle; co-directing Almost, Maine, Three Viewings, assistant directing Three Days of Rain, While My Mother Lay Dreaming, Sexy Laundry, Between Yourself and Me (Shadow Theatre); directing Marty Chan’s God’s Eye; Mothership Down (Paper Tiger Productions); Bonnie & Clyde (co-production with BrainPile); Murielle (co production with Promise Productions) 3…2…1 (co-production with Quiet Things Collective); Afterplay, The Christian Brothers, Madagascar, The Good Thief, Rum and Vodka, A Body of Water, Orange Flower Water, Skirmishes, The Year of Magical Thinking, The Age of Arousal, Mexican Blindness, Full Frontal Diva, MOTE, A Steady Rain, Love Letters, A Slow Air, and Dark Vanilla Jungle.(Blarney Productions). Wayne is producing three plays at the 2017 International Fringe Festival: A Quiet Place (co-production with BrainPile); To Be Moved, and Legoland (Blarney Productions) and directing three plays: Slack Tide (Premiere, co production with Parts and Labour Productions), The Superhero Who Loved Me (Premiere); and The Small Things (Blarney Productions).
April Banigan – Georgie
April Banigan is returning to the Fringe after 10 bloody years away from this spectacular festival! Some of her theatre credits include The last Train and Boston Marriage (Shadow Theatre), Blood Oranges and Silence (Northern Light Theatre), The Blue Light and My One And Only (Workshop West Theatre), See How They Run (Mayfield Theatre), Suburbia (Kill Your Television Theatre), The Constant Wife, A Christmas Carol and Death of a Salesman (Citadel Theatre), and Age of Arousal (Maggie Tree). Her TV credits include Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Street Justice and Media Sense. She was nominated for a Rosie Award for her performance in the feature film A Louder Silence. April also teaches drama at the Foote Theatre School and runs theatre residencies with Concrete Theatre. Producing this show with this group of beautiful turkeys has been a glorious dream. Kristi and April will perform together again next season in the Citadel Theatre’s world premiere of The Silver Arrow: The Untold Story of Robin Hood by Mieko Ouchi. Thank you to her beautiful boys, Avram, Jezec and Sean. Have fun and fringe forth!
Kristi Hansen – Samantha
Kristi Hansen is an Edmonton artist working in the realms of acting and producing for the past 16 years. Some of Kristi’s credits as an actor include Irma Voth (Theatre Network); Star Killing Machine (Broken Toys Theatre); The Hollow (Vertigo Theatre); Alice Through the Looking Glass (The Citadel Theatre); Christina/Philippe (Northern Light Theatre); 10 out of 12 and Passion Play (Wild Side Productions); The Jazz Mother, Pith, The Scent of Compulsion, and The Ambassador’s Wives (Teatro la Quindicina); The Sound of Music (National Arts Centre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, and Romeo and Juliet and Love’s Labour’s Lost (Freewill Players); Little Elephants (Shadow Theatre); Apocalypse Prairie (Azimuth Theatre); Grace et Gloria (l’Unithéâtre); Dying City (Trunk Theatre); The Supine Cobbler, Monstrosities, Age of Arousal, Hroses: An Affront to Reason, Folie à Deux, and Hunger Striking (The Maggie Tree). Kristi is the co-founder and co-Artistic Director of The Maggie Tree, the Co-Artistic Producer of Azimuth Theatre, and an Ensemble Member of Teatro la Quindicina.
Tessa Stamp – Production Designer and Stage Manager
Tessa Stamp is an Edmonton born theatre professional, entrepreneur, and found object artist. A dancer first, Tessa has made her career in technical theatre. She travelled the world as a pirate for 5 years, ran away with the circus in 2007 and landed back in Edmonton to re-join her theatre family at home. She has been creating mostly set, lighting and costume design for local indie theatre for the past few years (in her spare time while operating her small business Theatre Garage). Recent credits include; The Mommy Monologues (Costume, Set & Lighting Design, Skirts A Fire Festival), Expanse Festival (Stage Management, Azimuth Theatre), Metis Mutt (Set and Lighting Design, and Stage Management, One Little Indian Productions), The Supine Cobbler (Set and Costume Design, The Maggie Tree).