LOWELL -- For the final play in its 2017-18 season, Merrimack Repertory Theatre will premiere "The Villains' Supper Club," a new comedy by playwright Lila Rose Kaplan, whose 2016 play, "Home of the Brave," was the best-selling world premiere in MRT history.

Featuring the largest cast in the 2017-18 season, with six actors, "The Villains' Supper Club" stars Kristen Mengelkoch, an audience and critic favorite from this year's "Lost Laughs," as Galactic Girl, the world's last living superherom, who is on her first day back from maternity leave.

When the last superhero on Earth is also a new mom, there's no time to lose! Can she save the planet and call back the pediatrician? Or will she fall victim to her archrival's nefarious schemes? In a twist, the first half of the play is told from a traditional male comic-book perspective, with high heels and suggestive clothing; in the second act, Galactic Girl takes control of her own story, choosing her no-nonsense pediatrician as the narrator.

"The Villains' Supper Club" is an epic, irresistible comedy for anyone who has ever had to be a superhero.

"Lila Rose Kaplan is one of the most exciting playwrights writing today in our country," MRT Artistic Director Sean Daniels said, "and one of the great treasures of the Boston theater scene.


Her last show, 'Home of the Brave' continues to be the best-selling world premiere in MRT's 39-year history. Not only is she an author we'll all be studying in 10 years, but she's an advocate for working moms -- continually advocating onstage and off for better work conditions and support systems to make it possible for moms to be artists.

"Also, she's incredibly funny. No one is able to tackle the subject of superheroes and moms with such humor. You're rolling in the aisles, and before you know it, she's sneakily shown you a piece of real life you don't often see in pop culture. Even more important than producing this play, we're honored that one of the bright starts of the American theater calls MRT home, and will have plays here for years and years."

The StageSource Gender Parity Task Force honored The Villains' Supper Club with a "Standing O" stamp for gender parity (it has a female playwright, female-centered story, and at least a 50 percent female cast).

To celebrate, MRT will host a Parity Party at the performance scheduled for Thursday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. Audience members are invited to stay for an post-show discussion that night with members of the play's creative team and can get 10 percent off that show with code PARITY10.

Performances will be held April 25 through May 20. Tickets range from $26 to $73 and are on sale at www.mrt.org or by calling 978-654-4678.