A one-of-a-kind live performance that’s a mash-up of an old-fashioned radio drama with comic books and modern big-screen technology is launching a 12-show run in Iowa this week, its only stop in the state. “The Intergalactic Nemesis” is an adventure story set in the 1930s and features an evil villain, killer robots and sludge monsters from outer space, according to creator Jason Neulander.
“We’re going to be projecting artwork from a graphic novel that I wrote without the word balloons and we’re going to be projecting that panel-by-panel on this screen to tell the story visually,” Neulander says. “We have three actors who will voice all of the characters and one person is going to create all of the sound effects with a whole bunch of gadgets on this huge table.”
The show uses a two-story high screen to project more than 1,200 full-color, hand-drawn, comic book images to weave the tale as the voice actors, the pianist and the sound effects man — or foley artist — work their magic. “It’s totally a family-friendly show so it’s the kind of thing that if you grew up on “Raiders” and “Star Wars” like I did, you can bring your kids,” Neulander says. “It’s also the kind of thing where nerd culture is huge right now and this show is sort of unabashed in its geekiness.”
The story follows an award-winning reporter, her research assistant and a mysterious librarian as they travel from Romania to Scotland to the Alps to the Robot Planet and finally to Imperial Zygon to defeat a terrible threat to the future of humanity. “The storytelling and the way it’s presented operates on a whole bunch of different levels and it happens to also be really funny,” Neulander says, “so really, literally age seven to….dead seems to be our audience.” The show opens tonight and runs through May 11th at the Temple Theater in Des Moines.
See Nuelander’s recent appearance on Conan: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI7ANN9qYUg