All the characters in Kate Fodor's play, now receiving its West Coast premiere, are searching for some sort of validation, though they seek it in counterproductive ways. Single mom Theresa (Cheryl Huggins) cleans houses to support her randy teenage daughter, Abby (Kate Huffman). When she takes a job at the local Catholic church, her rudimentary faith is revived and she becomes convinced that the priest, Father Matthew (Brendan Farrell), can provide some answers. But Matthew has problems too: He's finding it impossible to pray, and he's been suspended from his parish because of some George Platt-Lynes photos of male nudes found in his room. He takes refuge in the home of his mother, Colleen (Pamela Roylance), a conventionally devout Irish Catholic. There he encounters Garrett (Marco Naggar), the touchingly naive young man who delivers Colleen's groceries. Garrett fears he might be gay, and seeks out Matthew because his dad said Matthew's a fag. When skeptical Abby (she equates Bible stories with Babar the Elephant,
) meets up with Garrett and a bottle of hooch, the stage is set for disaster. Director Lindsay Allbaugh deftly mines the rich comedy provided by Fodor's quirky characters and elicits lovely performances from all her actors. Elephant Theatre Company, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 7 p.m., thru June 26. (877) 369-9112, elephanttheatrecompany.com.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: May 27. Continues through July 16, 2011