Theater Review: Jobsite's boom!

develop is precisely what this play doesn’t 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 evening’s end, but not nearly enough to justify our wait. I’ve 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 acquaintance’s 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 there’s 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 doesn’t allow her to do much in 90 minutes, still she does it with great flair, easily becoming an audience favorite. Kari Goetz’s direction emphasizes the extreme of every script element, and Brian Smallheer’s likable set suggests a graduate student’s apartment, complete with working aquarium, world map and small bookshelf components. As always, Katrina Stevenson’s costumes, from Barbara’s bizarre togs to Jules’ undershorts, are beyond criticism. [dataBox]

boom! feels like a young writer’s play: ingenious but unsustained, using foul language for its shock value, intellectual but emotionally shallow. Nachtreib is talented but, for all his initial inventiveness, doesn’t have much to say here. If the apocalypse is coming, it had better be more interesting than this.

There are precisely two complex ideas in Peter Sinn Nachtreib’s boom! — now at Jobsite Theater — and once we’ve fully understood each, there’s very little to hold our attention. Idea number one is that the earth is about to be hit by a comet (thus the title), and the regeneration of the human race will depend upon the gay man and baby-hating woman on the stage in front of us. Idea number two is that the duet we are witnessing is a kind of museum exhibit, more or less stage-managed by a third character who stands on a walkway above the action, plays a drum to affect the actors, and at times addresses the audience directly. Each of these concepts is rich enough to develop into an evening of wild theater, but

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