develop is precisely what this play doesnt do. What we know after 15 minutes is pretty much what we know after an hour; and so the event is, finally, redundant and boring. Yes, there are a very few surprises at evenings end, but not nearly enough to justify our wait. Ive seldom seen a play start with so much promise and then go nowhere.
Still, the acting and directing are topnotch. Geneva Rae is heroically silly as a woman who answered an ad on Craigslist, not knowing that its writer was literally looking for someone with whom to save the human race. Rae plays Jo, whose avidity for sex is only matched by her new acquaintances reluctance, and who becomes increasingly suicidal as the situation fails to evolve. The epically shameless Chris Holcom throws all restraint to the wind as Jules, the wacky marine biologist who predicted the calamity (with the help of some fish), and who prepared his sealed-off domicile with food, tampons and diapers. And then theres Summer Bohnenkamp-Jenkins (pictured, photo by Dave Pritchard), who plays Barbara, the museum docent with impossibly big hair (a fashion of the future?). Bohnenkamp-Jenkins Barbara is a kind of Midwestern housewife gone dotty, and if the script doesnt allow her to do much in 90 minutes, still she does it with great flair, easily becoming an audience favorite. Kari Goetzs direction emphasizes the extreme of every script element, and Brian Smallheers likable set suggests a graduate students apartment, complete with working aquarium, world map and small bookshelf components. As always, Katrina Stevensons costumes, from Barbaras bizarre togs to Jules undershorts, are beyond criticism. [dataBox]
boom! feels like a young writers play: ingenious but unsustained, using foul language for its shock value, intellectual but emotionally shallow. Nachtreib is talented but, for all his initial inventiveness, doesnt have much to say here. If the apocalypse is coming, it had better be more interesting than this.