The acclaimed Furious Theatre Company is producing the world premiere of a unique show that brings the graphic novel and theater together. NOgoodDEED is the creation of Furius Theatre’s award-winning writer-in-residence Matt Pelfrey (An Impending Rupture of the Belly) and illustrator Ben Matsuya. The stage production is being directed by Dámaso Rodriguez, co-founder and director-in-residence of Furious; Nick Cernoch stars. Originally planned for 2010, the show will open January 21 as part of the respected [Inside] the Ford play series in partnership with the L.A. County Arts Commission.
Furious Theatre’s award-winning writer in residence exposes the dark side of good deeds in this skillfully drawn, dark comedy about young Josh Jaxson, who is driven to ruin by his own act of bravery. Josh and two fellow “heroes” unite in the afterlife and vow to undo their courageous feats by adopting superhero personas and an unconventional brand of time travel. NOgoodDEED is a savagely humorous ride that is part play, part graphic novel, and part something utterly new and extreme.
Just how the two forms are being merged isn’t clear at this time, but the website IamHellbound.com promises to unveil lots of information as we get closer to opening day.
Seeing theater, which has certainly been no stranger to the struggle of finding new audiences, embrace comics like this is interesting, and maybe a touch ironic. While sales of comics and graphic novels have been struggling, the energy behind them for movies and TV shows has grown significantly over the last decade. With high budget stage productions starring Spider-Man and Batman filling seats, can a brand new story made with both the page and the stage in mind bring that same kind of interest and enthusiasm to theater?
NOgoodDEED plays January 21 to February 26 at [Inside] the Ford, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Los Angeles, CA 90068. Tickets are $25, although there are special engagements and discounts.