Lightning Strikes at Queens Theatre


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com |

There’s a new super heroine in town. Her name is “Lightning Girl” and she has taken New York’s “Comic Con” by storm. By day she’s a mild-mannered, anonymous cartoonist but when her emotions are challenged, her fiery alter egos are unleashed.

Welcome to “CHIX 6,” the first major production this fall at Queens Theatre, located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The book, music and lyrics are all by Lourds Lane. She may disguise herself onstage as “Rise,” the nerd, but the incredible intensity of her solos and the more than 20 songs make it poignantly clear that “CHIX 6” is a journey she has already conquered.

Dazzling cartoon caricatures come to life. Each is breathtaking in voice, dance, costume and persona. “Blaze” (Celina Carvajal) has stylized hair of fire, accentuated by her goth clothes and the huge video/projections behind her. “Seven” (Nicolette Hart) wears red-framed glasses that reveal people’s true thoughts. “Mama-Mazing” (Danielle Lee Greaves) wears a leather and buckle outfit, flirting with audience members to make her point. “Lola Touche” (Molly Tynes) is a trilingual, acrobatic seductress. A dancing “Lightning Girl” (Ellenore Scott), a dark, dancing dragon named “Mi Roar” (CJ Tyson), and a brash “Interviewer” (Josh Sassanella) punctuate the story with their interpretations.

Of course, there’s a more down-to-Earth plot line. Unassuming cartoonist Katie White (Carrie Manolakos) is manipulated by her self-absorbed rocker boyfriend Jay Champ (Brian Gallagher). Manolakos provides a well-played, honest counterpoint to her five unabashed cartoon creations. Gallagher is eminently loathsome as the cutthroat wannabe rock star.
Director DJ Salisbury and choreographer Ron DeJesus utilize amazing special effects including flying actors, strobe lights, haunting multi-colored spotlights and frequent cast/offstage interaction. The four-piece band is positioned above the performers on metal scaffolds. Outstanding set design (Beowulf Boritt), video/projection design (David Gallo), costume design (Chris March) and others contribute to the dazzling tech mastery that it is the backbone of the project.

It’s no surprise that many in the cast, crew and leadership have Broadway and TV/Film credits. Tony, OBIE, and other accolades are in their portfolios as well. Call 718-760-0064 or go to www.queenstheatre.org for information.

The leaves have barely changed colors outside Queens’ theaters this fall, but the season already promises to provide an onstage palette of the finest quality. As always, save me a seat on the aisle!