A scene from Babes with Blades' latest production, "Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride." Photo by Johnny Knight.
Of the 300-plus theatre operations in Chicago, one of the few that's a cut above the rest is a group called Babes with Blades. This highly unique theatre company, which is celebrating its 15th season, dedicates its productions to telling stories about strong, three-dimensional woman who aren't afraid to show passion and aggression on the surface.
And, if their company name is any indication, onstage sword fighting makes a core part of any Babes with Blades show. Yes, BWB's pre-show announcement, which typically says to unwrap candies and turn off cell phones, includes the warning to keeps purses, hands and legs "inside the ride at all times." Trust me: you'll want to comply.
Their latest production, Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride, is an energetic murder mystery romp by Babes With Blades ensemble member Reina Hardy. The show takes us into the bowels of 19th century London where the secret Society of Lady Detective (SOLD) parry with aplomb while taking on their first major case. The story does lose a little steam as the loose ends are hastily tied up - but when the sword action takes center stage - all minor faults are forgiven. These ladies will cut a chick, corsets or not.
"Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride" plays through September 22 at Lincoln Square Theatre. For more information, click here.