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‘KAB Man’ opens with bang

October 18, 2012

The cast of “KAB Man” pose in front of Wyly Tower. Left to right: Kelsey Mardis, Jake Guinn, Rachel Pace, Stephen Vick. – Photos courtesy Tech Theater

MELISSA GRAJEK
Staff Reporter

 

It is opening night and the energy is almost as palpable as the empty bottles, cigarettes, wrappers and cans that litter the stage.

 

For sophomore mechanical engineering major Chris Pilcher, the debut of KAB Man was not only part of his theater appreciation class assignment, but also his first play.

 

Fellow marine and senior marketing major Rob Spears seated himself to the left of Pilcher as he reviewed the comic-book style program.

 

“I’ve taken theater appreciation in the past, so tonight I’m here for moral support,” Pilcher said.

 

More audience members began to take their seats as two large projector screens came to life with the cartoon preshow of the adventure of KAB Man.

 

KAB Man, written and directed by professor Mark Guinn, first took center stage in Howard Auditorium in 2010, and after winning the Creativity and Outreach in Media Award, has been recast this season with new energy, music and fun.

 

Based on the Keep America Beautiful campaign, or K-A-B, the performance follows Louisiana superhero KAB Man and his trusty sidekicks Kee-La-Belle and K-Linc as they fight against the litter polluting Louisiana.

 

With more twists and turns than an all-day rollercoaster ride, the action and fight scenes are enough to keep any audience member on the edge of his or her seat.

 

Patty Hornsville, owner of the Children’s Acting School, teaches the aspect of a third wall in theater, the illusion created by an actor that temporarily transports the audience into the realm of the performance.

 

The villains from “KAB Man” during a dress rehearsal.

KAB Man, however, breaks the third wall and encourages the audience to participate in the performance, making them a part of the act itself.

 

“I thought it was a blast!” audience member Kyles Caranhan said. “It’s fun to play along with the cast.”

From clapping with Kee-La-Belle to rapping and rhyming along with Wrapper Man and K-Link, it’s hard to resist the urge to maintain the tradition theater composure and most ausdience members soon found themselves clapping and hollering along like one might do at a high school football game.

 

Filled with ninjas, dragons, villains and superheroes, KAB Man brings out the inner child within every audience member. Costumes vividly portray each character through a visualization of the object of litter he or she represents, bringing to life the role individual littered items play in pollution.

 

Even weapons used to defend the realm of Big Pollution and his trusty League of Trash against the recycling heroes emulate their holders.

 

Characters like Cig-Man, with his cigarette batons, and Alu-Mini-Anne armed with her aluminum scythe fight to their final stand against the motion to keep Louisiana beautiful.

 

Not only is the performance an entertaining way to wind down a busy day, but it also provides an inspirational message to the public to become a superhero and join the vigilante fight within the community against pollution and littering.

 

Dialect scatters the performance with facts about the lifespan of waste such as a plastic bottle, while other tidbits introduce fun trivia about the recycling of cigarettes in other countries. With so much action and excitement, a one-time experience is not enough to fully enjoy hard work the actors dedicated to each scene.

 

This performance is a must see for people of all ages, and with a two week runtime featuring matinee performances, KAB Man offers a time convenient for all.

 

Email comments to mag043@latech.edu.

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One Response to ‘KAB Man’ opens with bang

  1. the ca Dean Reply

    October 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    awesome review, I’m certainly going out of my way to make an effort to see this!

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