In the play "Hearts like Fists," Watchmen meets Charlie's AngelsKaila Hale-Stern12/17/12 2:55pmFiled to: Theater reviewAdam szymkowiczTheaterHearts like fistsSuperheroestweet4EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkAn evil Doctor is terrorizing the city, creeping through windows to murder blissful lovers in the night. A group of lady-vigilantes, the Crimestoppers – an unholy mating of Charlie's Angels and the Watchmen – have sworn to stop him. In "Hearts Like Fists," which played earlier this month at the Secret Theatre in New York City, the action and acting pops with the colorful energy of a comic book, while the dialogue is smart, self-aware, and wickedly funny. It's hard to imagine a better night at the theater.AdvertisementEverything is purposefully over-the-top in the madcap world of Adam Szymkowicz's new "superhero noir" theatrical dramamedy. The production has its tongue planted firmly in cheek, paying exuberant, loving homage to a range of genre types: comic books and films, action and detective narratives, cheeseball romantic comedies, hospital melodramas. It nails them all and keeps barreling onward, literally cartwheeling from scene to scene. There needs to be a new genre created for "Hearts Like Fists": super-action theater.No one but the audience knows why the mysterious Doctor X (played with pitch-perfect arch villainy by August Schulenberg, the company's artistic director and the playwright behind the evocative A.I. drama DEINDE) is set on murdering slumbering lovers. Why such a heartless act? The bad doctor lets us in on his motivation at the start: he was scorned by his beloved, a woman with "a face like a plate," and ever since is on a mission of liberating others from the tyranny of love. He remembers nothing else but the plate detail, and is so grotesquely bereft you almost feel for him. His methods, however, might be considered a touch extreme.