MALLORY DUNCAN | Asst. Arts Etc. Editor
The year is 2014. Gone are the days where children must imagine the sounds of robots attacking or blasters destroying. Gone are the days of comic books and radio theatre. Standing in their place is one show. A show so unique, so different, it cannot be compared to any predecessor that has come to Clowes Memorial Hall. Comic book artwork, radio drama and thousands of sound effects combine to create The Intergalactic Nemesis, a show that has it all.
The show has travelled all over the world and is split up into books. There are books one and two, with a third on the way. Book one and two will be presented in a double feature format saturday.
Behind the show is a team of highly creative cohorts. The ‘ingenious mastermind’ behind the whole operation is Jason Neulander, the producer and director of the show.
“Our show is like a big budget, live action sci-fi movie,” Neulander said. “I don’t think there’s a play out there that can do that besides us.”
Besides neulander, the show is propelled by the performers on stage.
There are three actors, shape shifters that can mold into many different characters, one foley sound effects engineer, a sly welder of thousands of different sounds and a pianist, the musical virtuoso and sole source of orchestration.
Chris Gibson, one of the actors, plays up to 10 different characters in Book One of the Intergalactic nemesis and many more in book two.
“I probably die at least four times in book one alone,” he said. “At one point in book one, I’m playing the hero, villain and the spy. And nobody else is talking. it’s just me. I have to be able to switch back and forth between the characters completely effortlessly, so I can interrupt myself. It’s a bit of acting gymnastics.”
Besides the characters are the sounds behind them. Cami Alys is the Foley sound effects engineer.
“I’m the foley artist for the show, and I play with toys,” Alys said. “It requires the use of all of my limbs and my brain, which is very exciting.”
The Intergalactic Nemesis uses thousands of sound effects, including a toy cement truck to depict a robot moving. Two eight-foot tables are covered with sound effects “toys.”
Book one takes place all over Europe, North Africa and outer space while book two puts the audience on a robot planet. The books are stand-alone stories so audience members don’t have to be a part of the double feature. but no matter what book it is, audience participation is welcome and encouraged.
“It’s a comic book. there are heroes and villains,” Gibson said. “You’ve got to cheer for the heroes and boo for the villains.”
1,250 comic book strips are projected on a two-story tall screen. the images are brought to life with the voice talents of the three actors and supplemented with the foley artist and pianist.
THe intergalactic nemesis is a show unlike any other and will be here for one night only. It takes all good things from childhood, neulander said, and combines them into an action-packed adventure.
“We get audience members ages seven to dead,” Neulander said. “I want all of the people to talk about what a freaking good time they had. That’s the whole point of our show. It’s not heavy on message, that’s not what people will be talking about afterwards. they’ll be talking about what a good time they had.”