Melissa Paladino and Temar Underwood
in Fight Girl Battle World
(© Jim Baldassare)
Melissa Paladino and Temar Underwood
in Fight Girl Battle World
(© Jim Baldassare)
Having taken audiences on a thrill ride to kill god in A Beginner's Guide to Deicide, the Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company now puts an exuberant and hilarious sci-fi spin on the Biblical creation story of Adam and Eve with Qui Nguyen's Fight Girl Battle World at Center Stage. Filled with the company's signature wham-bam fight choreography (expertly devised by Nguyen), the show is a romp that fully knows its sci-fi forebears and takes infinite glee in trashing and parodying them.

Fight Girl tells the story of E-V (the dryly ironic Melissa Paladino), the last remaining female human in the Galaxy, who is one of the chief attractions on Battle World, which is managed by Zimlek (Kelley Rae O'Donnell, Andrea Marie Smith), a two-headed lizard creature that's demanding that E-V throw the next fight or else.

At the same time, General Dan'h (Temar Underwood), who looks something like Tina Turner in her Mad Max days crossed with Chewbacca from Star Wars -- and who was responsible for the massacre that decimated the human race -- is looking for E-V. The General now regrets his participation in that massacre and wants to help her find the last human male, Adon-Ra (played winningly by Noshir Dalal), a madman terrorist who is the scourge of the galactic federation, as he stalks planets, savagely murdering members of the alien races that abetted in the extermination of humans. How the General, E-V, and Adon-Ra eventually succeed in meeting and defeating the forces intent on destroying humans is the stuff of much merriment. It involves a particularly snarky blue-haired android LC-4 (played to perfection by Paco Tolson) and the general's chief officer J'an Jah (Maureen Sebastian), a being from Ursa Minor with just a few secrets.

At the head of this intrepid band's opposition are President Ya-Wi (Jon Hoche) and Commander G'Bril (also played zestily by Smith), a red-haired beauty clad in a chic, mid-length white trenchcoat with hamster-like ears and a thick Russian accent. As for President Ya-Wi, he brings to mind heads of the Federation from Star Wars, but he's brought to life here by a puppet that resembles and moves like a Muppet, albeit one that has become particularly power-hungry and vicious.

That character is only one of puppet designer David Valentine's terrific contributions to director Robert Ross Parker's high-adrenaline and often inspired staging, which shrewdly uses a sharp unit scenic design from Nick Francone to create some nifty cinematic effects. Particularly impressive are several chase sequences and a montage that shows how E-V, Adon-Ra, and J'an Jah train for their final showdown with Commander G'bril's forces.

Good, as might be expected, ultimately triumphs, with the General finding a safe haven for E-V and Adon-Ra to share. The fact that there's a snake-like creature with an apple aptly concludes this delicious intergalactic theatrical space ride.