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April 25 – May 20
By Lila Rose Kaplan
Directed by Sean Daniels
For the final play in its 2017-18 Season, Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) is premiering The Villains’ Supper Club, a new comedy by playwright Lila Rose Kaplan, whose 2016 play Home of the Brave was the best-selling world premiere in MRT’s history.
Featuring the largest cast in the 2017-18 season with six actors, The Villains’ Supper Club stars Kristen Mengelkoch (an audience and critic favorite from this year’s Lost Laughs) as Galactic Girl, the world’s last living superhero—who is on her first day back from maternity leave.
Kapow! Galactic Girl fights off multiple dastardly villains, including their tiny vicious leader, The Boss. Woosh! She’s home in time to feed her baby and maybe even feed herself. When the last superhero on earth is also a new mom, there’s no time to lose! Can she save the planet and call back the pediatrician? Or will she fall victim to her arch rival’s nefarious schemes? In a twist, the first half of the play is told from a traditional male comic book perspective with high heels and suggestive clothing; in the second act, Galactic Girl takes control of her own story, choosing her no-nonsense pediatrician as the narrator. The Villains’ Supper Club is an epic, irresistible comedy for anyone who’s ever had to be a superhero.
The press performance is on Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m. (Opening Night).
“Lila Rose Kaplan is one of the most exciting playwrights writing today in our country,” said MRT Artistic Director Sean Daniels, “and one of the great treasures of the Boston theatre scene. Her last show, Home of the Brave continues to be the best-selling world premiere in MRT’s 39 year history. Not only is she an author we’ll all be studying in 10 years, but she’s an advocate for working moms—continually advocating onstage and off for better work conditions and support systems to make it possible for moms to be artists. Also, she’s incredibly funny…”
Lila Rose Kaplan added: “I started working on The Villains’ Supper Club during the first year of my daughter’s life. I learned very quickly that new moms are true superheroes. One of the first images I had for the play was Galactic Girl pumping in a phone booth while still wearing her cape…The Villains’ Supper Club is a comic love letter to all the new moms out there.”
MRT has a history of bringing nationally recognized artists to Lowell, including for this production: scenic designer Apollo Weaver, whose work has appeared on stages from Philadelphia to Chicago; costume designer Arthur Oliver, known for his work with The Moscow Ballet; illustrator Chad Cunningham, whose incredible graphic drawings will be projected on stage; and fight choreographer Angie Jepson, who also teaches unarmed and armed stage combat courses at several local colleges.
The StageSource Gender Parity Task Force honored The Villains’ Supper Club with a “Standing O” stamp for gender parity (it has a female playwright, female centered story, and at least 50 percent female cast). To celebrate, MRT will host a Parity Party at the Thursday, April 26, 7:30 p.m. performance. Audiences are invited to stay for an Ask the Artists Post-Show Discussion with members of the play’s creative team and can get 10 percent off that show with code PARITY10.
PERFORMANCES, ADMISSION, AND LOCATION
The approximately two-hour show will be performed with one intermission. Performances are April 25-May 20. All performances will be held at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre located at 50 East Merrimack Street in historic downtown Lowell. Tickets range from $26-$73 and are on sale now at mrt.org or by calling 978-654-4678. A senior discount is offered for 10 percent off adult ticket prices. Student tickets are $15. Group discounts are available for groups of six or more by calling 978-654-7561. The press performance is on Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m. (Opening Night). More information: mrt.org/villains.