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Comic Book Theater Festival Brings Superheroes to the Brick's Stage

Spider-Man isn't the only comic book character hanging out onstage this summer. The first-ever Comic Book Theater Festival, which runs through July 1 at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg, features nearly a month of plays that bring beloved pen-and-ink figures to life in front of an audience.

The festival's mission purports to "invite one of history’s newest art forms to meet one of its oldest" — ie comics to theater. But Time Out New York theater editor David Cote said the festival is tapping into something much broader.

"The comic book aesthetic is everywhere," he said. "It's in major television shows, it's in movies, of course, like the summer blockbusters. It could be a very visually exciting festival."

The 16 plays that are part of the festival use comic books to satirize and play with mediums that they pay tribute to.

"Batz," for example, is a riff on last season's Off-Broadway hit "Gatz!" in which the characters read "The Great Gatsby" aloud in its entirety. ("Batz" uses the batman comic book "The Dark Night" as its inspiration.)

"Death Boogie," on the other hand, uses hip-hop and comic book illustrations to tell the story of a guy whose life during the day is different from the life he leads as a revolutionary by night.

The Comic Book Theater Festival kicked off on Thursday. Tickets to the shows cost $TK.

Josh Mertz, Harrison Unger, Ed Lane in "Batz."

Pictured above: Josh Mertz, Harrison Unger, Ed Lane in "Batz." Photo by Erik Bowie.