Fun well done neatly sums up Hearts Like Fists, this brazenly silly and irresistibly funny show. Adam Szymkowicz's comic book parody involves an evil doctor (Keith Allan) pursued by a dedicated band of female crime fighters (Alysha Brady, Alina Phelan, Jennifer Lee Weaver) and a dauntless heroine named Lisa (Lauren Dobbins Webb) battling to save, among other citizens, her brilliant but fainthearted lover, Peter (Rick Steadman).
Love unrequited is the recurring motif in this gender-bent spoof; it fuels the dastardly doctor's crime spree; inspires Peter, a dedicated physician with a damaged heart, to design an artificial one; and plagues the peace of mind of all and sundry, even the staunch and sturdy Amazonian crusaders and the hitherto dazzlingly invulnerable Lisa.
No small part of the comedy springs from fight choreographer Andrew Amani's smartly calibrated staging, which the ensemble renders in sync with designer Mark McClain Wilson's singular sound. In a show where timing is essential, the performers are consistently spot-on, but it is Allan as the tormented evildoer — his is a caricature with a soul — who scores the most theatrical thunder.
Grace Eboigbe charms as the love-smitten nurse, mad for the oblivious Peter. Composer Michael Teoli's atmospheric music and Brian Griego's props — two humongous blue-tinted syringes, the killer's weapon of choice! — highlight the spooky humor. Jaime Robledo directs this goofy gem.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Aug. 3. Continues through Sept. 1, 2012
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