King Kirby - Csquared Productions

Reviewed By Luke Dodge

Fringe Reviewer

Only troglodytes living under a rock have not been exposed to Marvel comics in some fashion these days, but few know the true story behind its origin. From a boy’s childhood to post-mortem reflections, “King Kirby” follows the life of Jack Kirby who co-created much of the Marvel universe we know and love. A bittersweet affair leads to reflections on the individual choices he made and how they fit into the larger picture of his life.

Five performers fill the roles of people throughout Kirby’s life in revolving door of characters with hastily donned costumes, The ensemble works together well to make each relationship feel unique and engaging, even through the brisk scene transitions. Several times it is not clear which character the performer is playing but the detail is minor and not essential to the main story.

A simple set adds enough for the performers to interact in a way that enhances their performance without detracting from scenes when not in use. The strength and energy of the performances alone often cause the props to quietly fade into the background. Music and sound effects add to the atmosphere while radio broadcasts clue the audience into world events without feeling heavy handed.

“King Kirby” is a charming history lesson that uses humor to emphasize the absurdity history can create. These light-hearted moments balance out the serious tone as we explore the underbelly of success. An excellent mix of information and entertainment, this reviewer left pondering the question: what does it mean to not play the staring role in your own life?

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