Review: She Kills Monsters

Dungeons & Dragons comes to life in Qui Nguyen's new action comedy.

  • Photograph: Joan Marcus

    She Kills Monsters

    She Kills Monsters at Flea Theater

  • Photograph: Joan Marcus

    She Kills Monsters

    She Kills Monsters at Flea Theater

  • Photograph: Joan Marcus

    She Kills Monsters

    She Kills Monsters at Flea Theater

  • Photograph: Joan Marcus

    She Kills Monsters

    She Kills Monsters at Flea Theater

Photograph: Joan Marcus

She Kills Monsters

She Kills Monsters at Flea Theater

Time Out Ratings

<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5

Attention, Vampire Cowboys fans: Despite the presence of writer Qui Nguyen and director Robert Ross Parker, despite the familiar hallmarks of their patented nerd-affirmation theater, the Flea's production of She Kills Monsters does not feel like a VC joint. Nguyen and Parker's Cowboys-level oeuvre always boasts a lo-fi virtuosity in each pop-culture mash-up; in Soul Samurai and Living Dead in Denmark, there were fights of epic proportions and jokes of thigh-slapping ridiculousness. By comparison, the new piece feels less cleverly constructed, even a little lazy.

Agnes (Satomi Blair) tries to understand her teenage sister Tilly (Allison Buck) by reading the Dungeons & Dragons adventure the girl scripted right before her death. As Agnes begins to enter fully into Tilly's fantasy, floating eyeballs, homicidal fairies and rabid cheerleaders all try to foil her. The bigger villains, though, are the script's uneven characterizations and plotlines abandoned midthread. The production is still a jolly, if undemanding, way to spend an evening: As acted by the Flea's non-Equity company the Bats, Monsters is a high-energy series of "remember the '90s?" jokes and shout-outs to D&D lovers. Who would not love that? (If the answer to that question is you, stay away.) The ending, thanks to puppet designer David Valentine, has the oh-no-they-didn't awesomeness we associate with Nguyen and Parker. The rest, though, feels like a slightly disappointing roll of your polyhedral die.

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Flea Theater. By Qui Nguyen. Dir. Robert Ross Parker. With ensemble cast. 1hr 25mins. No intermission. See complete event information

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