Girl Power

Recent moviegoers have watched Captain America, Spider-Man and Wolverine save the day, but it's a superheroine who rescues our planet in Starmites.

Inspired by Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, the fantasy musical follows Eleanor into the comic book world of Innerspace, where she teams up with the Starmites boy band on a Tolkien-esque quest for a powerful musical instrument that's in the wrong hands. Onstage July 4-19 at the Porthouse Theatre at Blossom Music Center, Starmites features primary colored set pieces and starburst "Bam!" and "Pow!" signs that enliven its cartoonish feel.

"We are in a new world," says actress Colleen Longshaw, who plays the queen of Innerspace and Eleanor's mother. "We get to decide what this world is."

Using familiar sci-fi themes, Starmites diversifies the genre with intergalactic battles against banshees and space lizards and dance numbers set to doo-wop, rock 'n' roll and '40s swing.

Unlike most superheroes, Eleanor doesn't have a special power, her drive is human: discovering her inner strength.

"The message resounds very loudly with where we need our young girls to go," Longshaw says.

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