“Monsters” follows the story of Agnes Evan’s “Dungeons and Dragons” quest to know her dead younger sister Tilly Evans. A model like Dark Elf, a sexy Demon Princess are a part of Tilly’s sick ass “D&D” squad which were dressed to a teenage boy’s wet dream. “Monster’s” had a lot of stage combat but because the cast was right on top of the audience, it meant that they had virtually no space to actually kick ass. For a cast with virtually no stage combat experience to sell action packed fight choreography merely 3 feet away would have been easier if it was staged on the Belk stage with the added distance allowing the cast to have a larger playing space. However, staging “Monsters” in the Black Box allowed interesting and intimate interactions between the cast and audience, from flirting to validation, both of which were hilarious and brought the audience in on the adventure.
“She Kills Monsters” had a fully sold out run, trying to get tickets to the show meant you had to move fast, if not you were waitlisted!
“Monsters” is the show about the underdog, flashing back and forth from Tilly’s old high school where the “D&D” players were dorks and the cheerleaders were the queens. Tilly, played by Addie Moore, was the creator of the “D&D” world that her sister Agnes, played by Myrti Tipton, ventures into. Agnes as the older sister was the one that never left home, taking the phrase “born and raised” literally, she is perfectly average with nothing exciting in her life, even her romantic life is less than exciting; after 5 years all her boyfriend offers is to move in.
The chemistry between Tipton and Moore is undeniable, from the fun side jabs to protecting one another, there was no doubt that there was a friendship there that would over last the run of the show. The romantic relationships portrayed in “Monsters” was interesting, the fact that Tilly was actually gay and was with the sexy Demon princess Lilith was a surprise as there was no build up to the romance and suddenly “we’re lovers,” mic drop, would have worked best if there was tension there. A slow burn that would have left the audience asking “are they…. Is she?” instead I felt incredibly underwhelmed. Overall the romantic relationships both between Tilly and Lilith and Agnes and Miles left something to be desired.
“Monsters’” cast was filled with bright new faces to Charlotte’s main stage, allowing new to the stage, along with some beloved old ones returning. The cast brought interesting character choices for the show. For this cast it was the minor characters that stole the show; junior Noah Tepper as Orcus could best be compared as an Adult version of the Genie from Disney’s Aladdin with hilarious one liners reminding us that he is the sass King. Sophomore Kyle Smith as the hilarious Dungeon Maste, the love of my life Karlon Artis as the greatest comedy relief and the other love of my life Raven Monroe as Agnes’s lifeline and treasure for the audience. Minor characters like Ferrah the Fairy (Briana Abbiat) brings out the underlying feminism reminding the cast and audience that “just because I’m pretty doesn’t mean I won’t fuck you the fuck up” and then fucking up Orcus for touching her.
Hats off to the Director & Costume Designer Allison (Aly) Amidei, Sound Designer Alex Gilland (senior theatre major) and Scenic & Lighting Designer Bruce Auerbach the show looked impeccable. From small details like Orcus’ makeup to larger details such as the great music that would overplay the fight scenes, it was a stimulating visual experience from start to finish.