Actors Bridge Ensemble opens their 20th anniversary season on Friday, Sept. 11 with the regional premiere of “Hearts Like Fists” by Adam Szymkowicz. The show’s co-directors are Actors Bridge Ensemble Artistic Associate Jessika Malone and guest director David Ian Lee (with stage combat overseen by Lee and Carrie Brewer).
Here’s the description and some review “pull quotes” Nashville Arts Critic recently received via email: “A superhero noir comedy about the dangers of love. The city’s heart beats with fear: Doctor X is sneaking into apartments and injecting lovers with a lethal poison. Lisa’s heart beats with hope: Now that she’s joined the elite Crimefighters, maybe she can live a life with meaning. And every beat of Peter’s wounded heart brings him closer to death, but he’s designing an artificial replacement that will never break. Can the Crimefighters stop Doctor X? Do Peter and Lisa have a chance at love? And who is the girl with a face like a plate?”
“Parody and punches fly…The combination is madcap. Pretty hysterical too.” — NY Times.
“So much fun…comic-book action and delicious one-liners…exhilarating, nerdy-sexy, and silly-smart.” — LA Times
“…the colorful energy of a comic book [and] the dialogue is smart, self-aware, and wickedly funny. It’s hard to imagine a better night at the theater.” — i09.com
“A fun, twisted exploration of what it means when someone Hulk-smashes your heart on the ground into a million pieces. It’s goofy. It’s absurd. But it hits hard where it counts—right in the ticker.” — Village Voice
“This adventure is gonna’ knock your socks off in every conceivable way! I could not possibly be more thrilled to be back in Nashville, reunited with artists I love and respect and bringing home new collaborators to share in the fun like my pal, David Ian Lee. David is a serious theatrical force, already an accomplished actor and playwright, I had the great privilege of coming to know him through our time together in our directing MFA studies. Sharing a strong foundation in the Meisner technique, we became fast friends and built a mutual admiration society, each inspiring the other with our creative output. We knew we wanted to join forces on a project and ‘Hearts Like Fists‘ is the perfect story for us to tell together – chocked full of action and adventure and bursting with emotional truth that explodes from the page to the stage.” – Jessika Malone
“I couldn’t be more excited to be collaborating on ‘Hearts Like Fists‘ with this group of artists, at this time, in this place. I’m codirecting with one of my favorite collaborators and best friends, the inimitable Jessika Malone. We have an absolutely kick-ass cast. I’m back in a town I fell in love with over a decade ago. And, to cap it all, I get to work on my buddy’s awesome play. Adam and I were frequent collaborators with New York’s Flux Theatre Ensemble, who subsequently produced ‘Hearts Like Fists‘ in 2012. Whenever Adam brought pages to Flux Sunday — the company’s weekly salon for theatremakers, where playwrights could try out new material — the work was funny, smart, and visceral. I am honored to have his words to work with. I’ve long admired ‘Hearts Like Fists‘ because the work is incredibly intelligent and thoroughly engaging; it is a play that provokes thought and challenges ideas, all the while being a kung-fu film-noir mash-up romp The play speaks to — not down, but to — younger people in a way that our contemporary theatre so often refuses to even attempt. And, hey, there’s awesome music and action scenes and a bunch of hot girls in cool costumes, what more do you want? Fans of Actors Bridge’s wildly successful production of Qui Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters are really gonna’ dig Hearts Like Fists.” – David Ian Lee
Friday, Sept. 11 @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 12 @ 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 13 @ 4 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 17 @ 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 18 @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 19 @ 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 20 @ 4 p.m.
Tickets: $20 in advance / $25 @ the door
Online sales: www.tinyurl.com/heartslikefists
Hashtags: #heartslikefists #actorsbridge
Theatre Address: 1575 Compton Avenue
As you can see from the following video, rehearsals are quite physical!
And here’s a rockin’ intro for the aforementioned cast!