Tons of people have been jumping on the superhero bandwagon in the last decade, trying to relive their childhoods with movies like “Catwoman”, “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight.” These films try to replicate the worlds of the comic books with the utmost seriousness. But don’t expect that in Captain Freedom, though. This entertaining romp from Landless Theatre is dirty, sarcastic, and features a less-than-super kind of hero.
A contemporary comedy tailored to Washington audiences makes sure to include irreverent pop culture references, from the bikesharing program to the Department of Homeland Security’s color-coded terror alert system.
The titular character is like a superhero from out of a Judd Apatow movie, crude and unconcerned with morality, and the play highlights Captain Freedom’s quest to gain stardom as a hero and find an archenemy. Along the way, he struggles alongside an assassin girlfriend and a burned-out teenage sidekick.
A dynamic ensemble dynamic plays multiple roles with lightning-fast costume changes. This was indicative of the entire performance’s quick pace, with madcap scenes and speedy dialogue which kept the audience laughing. The cast was at their best with the physical comedy in extended fight sequences.
Captain Freedom, who is appearing as himself, according to the cast list, [but is otherwise known as Landless A.D., Andrew Baughman] had the careless attitude for his arrogant character down, between his confident swagger and mile-a-minute speech. Another standout was Steve Custer, working his way between evil and helpful characters with wacky voices and over-the-top energy.
This was a great technical presentation, as well, with a slideshow playing consistently in the background and a detailed sound design. And that’s besides the hilarious superhero costumes, of which I’ll just say that there are some pretty funny objects dangling from pretty funny places.
A lighthearted farce, Captain Freedom is a great way to reminisce about childhood pleasures… but with some very adult sensibilities.
Captain Freedom has 4 more performances at The Redrum – Fort Fringe, 607 New York Avenue, Washington, DC.