Revenge Song

Critics

LemonMeter

61 %

Reviews: 14

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

A rousing, romping, music-filled look at the real life of Julie d’Aubigny, a queer 17th century French swordswoman and opera singer, Revenge Song is a heroine’s journey toward self-discovery and acceptance. In this world premiere Geffen Playhouse commission, conversations about gender and sexuality blend together with the outrageous fun and superhero style of the Vampire Cowboys to create a genre unto itself—a hilarious, historical comedy with epic fight scenes and a punk rock attitude.

Major support for this world premiere production provided by the Edgerton Foundation New Play Production Fund. Developed in part with CalArts Center for New Performance and with assistance from the Orchard Project, Ari Edelson, Artistic Director.

Reviews

Avatar

Written by Qui Nguyen and directed by Robert Ross Parker, “Revenge Song” makes the case for a spectacular production filled with a mix of French minstrel and 1600’s comedy/slapstick, wacky hi-jinks, juxtaposed with romantic lingo to the tune and spirit of mon Cheri amor, time traveling to modern day shopping malls, singing “I Think We’re Alone Now.”  The production is genius in combining past, present and future.  Be sure to get thee to the Geffen in time for “Revenge Song, A Vampire Cowboys Creation.”

sweet - Bonnie Priever - Curtain Up - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal

The play is based on the true-life story of Julie d' Aubigny, an unusual 17th century French woman.  It is told with rousing music (Shane Rettig), and vim and vigor from beginning to end. - Highly recommended

sweet - Carol Kaufman Segal - Carol's Culture Corner - ...read full review


Jill Weinlein

The actors in "Revenge Song" rap and wave French flags in this swashbuckling real life story of a queer 17th century French swordswoman Julie d’Aubigny (Margaret Odette).

sour - Jill Weinlein - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Avatar

The production,  directed by VC co-founder Robert Ross Parker,  pulls out all the stops in telling its bizarre but sometimes affecting story:  French and American rap music, puppetry, kung fu,  L.A. jokes, dick jokes, video projection. The six-person cast is required to sing, dance, clown, and trick itself out in one outrageous costume after another.  All this unfolds at high speed, propelled by Qui Nguyen’s comic book-like dialogue, which takes liberties with history, time, and believability yet manages to be consistently laugh-out-loud funny and entertaining.

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Robert Ross Parker and Playwright Qui Nguyen direct our focus with the kind of clarity and humor I wish we had in a quarter of the action films that come out of this town.  It’s jaw-dropping and we think we’ve seen it all but then that live feed, complete with miniatures, clever visual tricks and the ton of work that results in the kind of timing Charlie Chaplin and his ilk made look easy in the old days is one of the most phenomenal sequences I’ve seen in as long as I can remember.

sweet - Christine Deitner - The Theatre Times - ...read full review


Avatar

It’s almost as if the producers don’t trust the intelligence of the so-called nerds. One surmises that this play was chosen just so the Geffen — as with many many playhouses around the country — could show off its commitment to youth and diversity. Now you understand the subtitle A Vampire Cowboys Creation. I assure you that no play in the 1930s was subtitled A Theatre Guild Creation. C’mon, we all know the play’s the thing … or perhaps not anymore.

sour - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

It's all sort of dazzling ... but it's also a lot.

If you're expecting same old, same old - you'll be disappointed. Even if you're up for the ride, there are moments when you'll lose patience but right before you give up, I bet, like that geeky friend, you'll recognize this is a sweet show. It's a show that's having fun and laughs at itself and let's face it: when's the last time you saw a show about a 17th century queer badass?

sweet - Anthony Byrnes - KCRW - ...read full review


Avatar

It receives an overwhelmingly positive response from the appreciative younger audience in attendance. The older audience members are likely to be just plain overwhelmed by an anachronism-laden biography that mashes up ancient times and today’s #MeToo era, Hamilton, Rocky Horror Picture show and Avenue Q, with a big dose of ‘80s sensibility.

sweet-sour - Laura Foti Cohen - Larchmont Buzz - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Offers an exciting, entertaining, and rollicking theatrical experience, ingeniously directed by Robert Ross Parker that is sure to please rowdy fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show during the heroine's interactive journey toward self-discovery and acceptance.There are so many moments of sheer hysteria and musical brilliance during the production, perhaps it's best to imagine yourself as the cast does from the beginning as drunk on red wine, laughable French people and just let yourself laugh along with them from start to finish as they make fun of themselves at every turn, especially when interacting with Avenue Q-type puppets who offer more social satire per second during their scenes. Rocky Horror Picture Show fans - this is the show for you!

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Though “Revenge Song” speaks to gender equality and spotlights its love-who-you-love theme, its style overpowers its substance. But what style! Robert Ross Parker’s direction is big and splashy, as if each moment featured a giant “Kapow!” bursting from the stage, with a guerrilla edge that belies the scrupulously detailed fight direction (Maggie Macdonald and Tim Brown).

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Avatar

If there’s a plan to it all, it’s raffishly self-indulgent. Revenge Song’s plot convolutions don’t clarify matters either. The giddy creators just keep piling stuff on. Jessica Shay’s super-inventive, tacky-on-purpose costumes are surely the best thing in it, while the addition of David Valentine’s puppets is merely superfluous. More is just more, guys, when it’s extraneous or only just more of the same.

sour - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Avatar

Julie’s revenge against the men who have tried to destroy her is a dish that isn’t yet fully cooked. But it’s a thrill even at this relatively early phase to watch Nguyen spin so many plates in the air.

sweet-sour - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman

....the performances, with a single exception, are all bluster, lacking that kernel of truth that even the silliest parody needs to make it spark.

sour - Deborah Klugman - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Although experimental theatre put off-Broadway on the map in the 1960s and 70s, to me today New York City-spawned counterculture fare seems a little… safe. Still offbeat, yes, I should say—but safely, predictably offbeat, if that makes any sense. These days, here in ol’ poor culturally maligned El Lay, despite the long-suffered distain from the theatre community on that other coast leveled on whatever we create here, our reclaimed desert climes has some amazingly brave resident theatre entities willing to continually challenge the norm. Yet, I was excited to learn Qui Nguyen’s Obie-winning and notoriously off-center theatre company Vampire Cowboys would be coming west to present their newest piece at the Geffen—especially since Nguyen was the very first artist Matt Shakman chose to become the Playhouse’s first commissioned playwright when he took over the reigns as artistic director in 2017. Keeping all that in mind and despite all the hype, including tagging it far and near as a 'new LGBTQ play' and a 'queer musical,' I unfortunately found it to be a major disappointment. There’s tremendous promise here and indeed it was fun to see the puzzlement on the faces of the typical westside botox-heavy opening night crowd as it unfolded, but in the end it’s just not yet ready for primetime.

sweet-sour - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review


Avatar

Written by Qui Nguyen and directed by Robert Ross Parker, “Revenge Song” makes the case for a spectacular production filled with a mix of French minstrel and 1600’s comedy/slapstick, wacky hi-jinks, juxtaposed with romantic lingo to the tune and spirit of mon Cheri amor, time traveling to modern day shopping malls, singing “I Think We’re Alone Now.”  The production is genius in combining past, present and future.  Be sure to get thee to the Geffen in time for “Revenge Song, A Vampire Cowboys Creation.”

sweet - Bonnie Priever - Curtain Up - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal

The play is based on the true-life story of Julie d' Aubigny, an unusual 17th century French woman.  It is told with rousing music (Shane Rettig), and vim and vigor from beginning to end. - Highly recommended

sweet - Carol Kaufman Segal - Carol's Culture Corner - ...read full review


Jill Weinlein

The actors in "Revenge Song" rap and wave French flags in this swashbuckling real life story of a queer 17th century French swordswoman Julie d’Aubigny (Margaret Odette).

sour - Jill Weinlein - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Avatar

The production,  directed by VC co-founder Robert Ross Parker,  pulls out all the stops in telling its bizarre but sometimes affecting story:  French and American rap music, puppetry, kung fu,  L.A. jokes, dick jokes, video projection. The six-person cast is required to sing, dance, clown, and trick itself out in one outrageous costume after another.  All this unfolds at high speed, propelled by Qui Nguyen’s comic book-like dialogue, which takes liberties with history, time, and believability yet manages to be consistently laugh-out-loud funny and entertaining.

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Robert Ross Parker and Playwright Qui Nguyen direct our focus with the kind of clarity and humor I wish we had in a quarter of the action films that come out of this town.  It’s jaw-dropping and we think we’ve seen it all but then that live feed, complete with miniatures, clever visual tricks and the ton of work that results in the kind of timing Charlie Chaplin and his ilk made look easy in the old days is one of the most phenomenal sequences I’ve seen in as long as I can remember.

sweet - Christine Deitner - The Theatre Times - ...read full review


Avatar

It’s almost as if the producers don’t trust the intelligence of the so-called nerds. One surmises that this play was chosen just so the Geffen — as with many many playhouses around the country — could show off its commitment to youth and diversity. Now you understand the subtitle A Vampire Cowboys Creation. I assure you that no play in the 1930s was subtitled A Theatre Guild Creation. C’mon, we all know the play’s the thing … or perhaps not anymore.

sour - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

It's all sort of dazzling ... but it's also a lot.

If you're expecting same old, same old - you'll be disappointed. Even if you're up for the ride, there are moments when you'll lose patience but right before you give up, I bet, like that geeky friend, you'll recognize this is a sweet show. It's a show that's having fun and laughs at itself and let's face it: when's the last time you saw a show about a 17th century queer badass?

sweet - Anthony Byrnes - KCRW - ...read full review


Avatar

It receives an overwhelmingly positive response from the appreciative younger audience in attendance. The older audience members are likely to be just plain overwhelmed by an anachronism-laden biography that mashes up ancient times and today’s #MeToo era, Hamilton, Rocky Horror Picture show and Avenue Q, with a big dose of ‘80s sensibility.

sweet-sour - Laura Foti Cohen - Larchmont Buzz - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Offers an exciting, entertaining, and rollicking theatrical experience, ingeniously directed by Robert Ross Parker that is sure to please rowdy fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show during the heroine's interactive journey toward self-discovery and acceptance.There are so many moments of sheer hysteria and musical brilliance during the production, perhaps it's best to imagine yourself as the cast does from the beginning as drunk on red wine, laughable French people and just let yourself laugh along with them from start to finish as they make fun of themselves at every turn, especially when interacting with Avenue Q-type puppets who offer more social satire per second during their scenes. Rocky Horror Picture Show fans - this is the show for you!

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Though “Revenge Song” speaks to gender equality and spotlights its love-who-you-love theme, its style overpowers its substance. But what style! Robert Ross Parker’s direction is big and splashy, as if each moment featured a giant “Kapow!” bursting from the stage, with a guerrilla edge that belies the scrupulously detailed fight direction (Maggie Macdonald and Tim Brown).

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Avatar

If there’s a plan to it all, it’s raffishly self-indulgent. Revenge Song’s plot convolutions don’t clarify matters either. The giddy creators just keep piling stuff on. Jessica Shay’s super-inventive, tacky-on-purpose costumes are surely the best thing in it, while the addition of David Valentine’s puppets is merely superfluous. More is just more, guys, when it’s extraneous or only just more of the same.

sour - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Avatar

Julie’s revenge against the men who have tried to destroy her is a dish that isn’t yet fully cooked. But it’s a thrill even at this relatively early phase to watch Nguyen spin so many plates in the air.

sweet-sour - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman

....the performances, with a single exception, are all bluster, lacking that kernel of truth that even the silliest parody needs to make it spark.

sour - Deborah Klugman - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Although experimental theatre put off-Broadway on the map in the 1960s and 70s, to me today New York City-spawned counterculture fare seems a little… safe. Still offbeat, yes, I should say—but safely, predictably offbeat, if that makes any sense. These days, here in ol’ poor culturally maligned El Lay, despite the long-suffered distain from the theatre community on that other coast leveled on whatever we create here, our reclaimed desert climes has some amazingly brave resident theatre entities willing to continually challenge the norm. Yet, I was excited to learn Qui Nguyen’s Obie-winning and notoriously off-center theatre company Vampire Cowboys would be coming west to present their newest piece at the Geffen—especially since Nguyen was the very first artist Matt Shakman chose to become the Playhouse’s first commissioned playwright when he took over the reigns as artistic director in 2017. Keeping all that in mind and despite all the hype, including tagging it far and near as a 'new LGBTQ play' and a 'queer musical,' I unfortunately found it to be a major disappointment. There’s tremendous promise here and indeed it was fun to see the puzzlement on the faces of the typical westside botox-heavy opening night crowd as it unfolded, but in the end it’s just not yet ready for primetime.

sweet-sour - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review