Special mentions should be made of Christy M. Hauptman’s costumes and Christa McCarthy’s hair and makeup, which not only bring us very much into an anachronistic, filthy rag-and-bones world without industry, but also pull off that rare feat of making us grateful for the world we return to after leaving the theater.
Viewers might find that the titular can comes and goes without much narrative weight. If the peach can rings a bell, its tolling may come from a Twilight Zone episode based on a Henry Slesar short story, called “The Old Man in the Cave,” in which a town survives a nuclear holocaust by obeying a computer’s warning against eating up a pile of radioactive canned food. There was a memorable scene in which James Coburn, playing the leader of a band of marauding soldiers, defies the injunction, eats some canned food and pretends to die choking in the dirt — before springing to his feet laughing. (Soon his character really does die.)
I can’t remember today what food was supposed to be in those Twilight Zone cans, but as a kid I imagined the most desirable thing possible — which is to say, fruit cocktail with extra cherries. I can definitely remember the story carrying a much bigger punch than this play. Jones wrote the relentlessly gripping and creepy play Noise (which Furious produced at its old Armory venue). He’s in your face with Canned Peaches, but not your mind — or your gut.?
CANNED PEACHES IN SYRUP | By ALEX JONES | FURIOUS THEATRE COMPANY at Carrie Hamilton Theater, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena | (800) 595-4849 | Through November 10