Perpetual Motion Roadshow | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Perpetual Motion Roadshow 

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Canadian Emily Pohl-Weary--whose work finishing the autobiography of her grandmother, sci-fi legend Judith Merril, won her a special Hugo last year--is in town this week with the contributors' tour for Girls Who Bite Back (Sumach Press). The just-released anthology, which Pohl-Weary edited, is full of fiction and essays about "the new breed of superheroines" in pop culture, from flying freaks to everyday powerhouses. I can take or leave most of the feminist essays herein--their points have been made so many times that the dirty details of the action-packed fiction hit harder. A.M. Dellamonica's "Faces of Gemini," for example, in which one supertwin creams her sister's super-ex by merely thinking about how he superpunked out on her sibling, was an amusing reminder of the pummelings I still owe on my own sister's behalf. Joining Pohl-Weary are contributors Carly Stasko and Mariko Tomiki--who'll give superheroine makeovers to audience members, outfitting them with costumes designed to bring out their personalities as well as their fighting spirit--and ventriloquist Daniel Heath Justice. The tour's in collaboration with the Perpetual Motion Roadshow, the circuslike brainchild of Toronto's Jim Munroe, an ace at meshing the silly intricacies of human intimacy with sci-fi conceits. Munroe won't be on hand for this tour's Chicago stop, but the new reprint of his first novel, Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask, will be, and movie-style teasers for the book will screen between performances. It's at 8 on Thursday, May 27, at Quimby's, 1854 W. North, 773-342-0910.

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