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  1. Photograph: Michael Brosilow
    Photograph: Michael Brosilow

    She Kills Monsters at Buzz22 Chicago

  2. Photograph: Michael Brosilow
    Photograph: Michael Brosilow

    She Kills Monsters at Buzz22 Chicago

  3. Photograph: Michael Brosilow
    Photograph: Michael Brosilow

    She Kills Monsters at Buzz22 Chicago

  4. Photograph: Michael Brosilow
    Photograph: Michael Brosilow

    She Kills Monsters at Buzz22 Chicago

She Kills Monsters at Buzz22 Chicago | Theater review

Qui Nguyen's knowing, ceaselessly likable nerd service mines genuine emotion amid its swords-and-sorcery goofiness.

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Pop playwright Qui Nguyen’s 2011 paean to RPGs should warm the hearts of nerds across Chicago in Buzz22’s almost endlessly inventive production. The story centers on a young woman who discovers a Dungeons & Dragons module written by her now-deceased younger sister, and enlists the help of a high-school dungeonmaster to try and reconnect with her sibling via role-playing.

Set in 1995, Monsters wrings much of its humor from deliciously dorky references to the early days of the Internet and mid-’90s TV. As consummate in-crowder Agnes (Katherine Banks) discovers the inner (and ended) life of high-school outsider Tilly (Jessica London-Shields) via rolls of the dice, Scott Weinstein’s production mines genuine emotion amid the swords-and-sorcery goofiness. Although Nguyen drops the ball on a couple of tangential subplots, extraordinarily accomplished design elements make this a geeky must-see.

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