Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Blast Radius

Photo/Deborah Alexander

This engaging work from Gideon Productions taps into the themes of humanity that made Mac Rogers's previous foray into science-fiction (Universal Robots) so compelling, and is both a heartbreakingly bleak look at our rebellion and, like third-season Battlestar Galactica, a useful mirror in understanding the nature of terrorism. (Humanity's last chance is to gather fifty-one suicide bombers in an attempt to topple one of the massive hives of the alien invaders.)

Although there's no need to have seen Advance Man in order to enjoy this sequel, those who have will appreciate all of the distress set designer Sandy Yaklin has put into this once-charming home in Coral Gables, FL, as well as the murkier lighting that Jennifer Linn Wilcox has brought to the clandestine meetings occurring there. Those just tuning in, however, will thrill to see the evolution of these characters. The Honeycomb's ambassador, Conor (Jason Howard), has now fully acclimated to his human body, putting his newfound appreciation of "individuality" to the task of loving, body and soul, his fellow human ambassador, Abbie (David Rosenblatt). Meanwhile, as Conor grows more human, mourning the illness afflicting his proxy (and Abbie's actual) mother Amelia (Kristen Vaughan), Abbie comes across as a spoiled brat, abusing his powers in the hopes of squashing the futile resistance he believes (correctly) his sister Ronnie (Becky Byers) to be mounting, convinced that humanity will only be saved once it no longer exists -- i.e., once it has been assimilated into a beautiful, ever-loving, single mind. As for Ronnie, her teenage rebellion has blossomed into a fully justified war, one in which she no longer has to stand alone, well-matched as she is by the wisdom of her co-leader, Shirley (Nancy Sirianni), and the strength of her beloved Peck (Adam Swiderski).

[Read on]

(Press ticket)

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