The History of Invulnerability— a play for the pensive

Photo obtained from Milwaukee Rep Theatre

My husband and I had the privilege of attending the theatrical production The History of Invulnerability on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the Milwaukee Repertoire Theatre.  We arrived 15 minutes early and managed to obtain a pair of tickets at a discount.  Our seats were half-way down the theatre next to the aisle, off to the right of the stage.  Though our seats might have been undesirable for another show, the sound effects, visual effects, and movement of the cast on stage made the production picturesque from almost any angle—compliments to artistic director Mark Clements for a visually enjoyable show.

My husband and I walked out of the theatre satisfied and with much to discuss in regard to the amount of detail that went into the script.  After having such a great experience, I read a few professional reviews with my colleagues.  Apparently, The History of Invulnerability wasn’t scripted well at all in the eyes of local critics.  The truth is the plot was very developed.  Though the story follows main character Jerry Siegel through his struggle as a writer to surpass his past acclaim with Super-Man, viewers can follow the plot through historical content, Biblical context, and man-versus-self conflict.  The play itself brings up subjects of morality, the human need to fantasize, and how corporations can exploit art.  As an account of Jerry Siegel’s life, The History of Invulnerability shows us the scorn of a writer gone discredited and his three-dimensional character with appropriateness and explanation for his lifetime of actions.

This production is not a laid-back, easily digestible play.  It takes focus and perhaps an additional amount of outside knowledge to appreciate The History of Invulnerability as a well-synthesized work.  As we all have differences in taste, it is safe to say that not everybody will like this production.

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