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Porthouse's production of "Starmites," which officially opened July 4, has a lot of appeal for many reasons, said director Michael McIntosh.
"It reminds everybody of something different," McIntosh said. "I've heard people saying it reminded them of 'Wizard of Oz,' 'Power Rangers,' and 'Little Shop of Horrors.' I like the humaneness of the story. It's about finding oneself and being true to yourself. In the beginning, no one is sure who they are or where they belong. But the end, they do and they are happy."
The play takes the audience into a colorful comic book world where brightly-garbed good guys, along with a young woman from another world, battle the forces of evil. It's a silly, fun trip through fantasy, and appropriate for all ages.
"It's so eclectic," McIntosh said. "There are so many different styles of music, from opera to boy bands to 40s swing."
In the story, Eleanor (Lucy Anders) is being pressured to give up her beloved comic books and join the real world by her mother (Colleen Longshaw). While reluctantly packing up her comics, Lucy is transported to the world of the Starmites, where she finds herself helping the four superheroes fight the evil Shak Graa (Darian Lunsford). The heroes include Spacepunk (Daniel Lindenberger), the leader who falls for Eleanor. Along the way, they encounter the Banshees and their queen, The Diva (also played by Longshaw, who shines in this role).
"It's hard to be a diva," Longshaw said, quoting a line from a song in the show. "It's exhausting but it's not draining. It's so great, I'm so excited to do something that's fresh and new. Most of what you do as an actor, it's been done. To just make your stamp on something, to create it, it's wonderful. This show has been done before, but not in this region, and not for a while. We get to play."
Ticket and show information
"Starmites" can be seen through July 19.
For subscriptions and tickets, call 330-672-3884, purchase online at www.porthousetheatre.com or in person at the Porthouse box office, in the Roe Green Center lobby of the Center for the Performing Arts at 1325 Theatre Dr. in Kent. The box office is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Porthouse is at 1145 W. Steels Corners Road in Cuyahoga Falls.
Porthouse's final show of the season will be "Oliver," which can be seen July 24 through Aug. 10.