For those who take their theoretical physics seriously, writers Chris Bell and Joshua Zeller's deliriously whacked-out, big-science apocalypse satire may be this week's ticket to avoid. For those of us who have whiled away an afternoon watching the Science Channel or wasted a childhood glued to one of the Star Trek franchises, however, Bell and Zeller's daffily deft homage to particle-physics exotics and familiar sci-fi tropes of all stripes is a late-night delight. Set in the cathedral-like bowels of the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland, the one-act follows a pair of hapless, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern–ish research physicists (Scott Harris and Andrew Erskine Wheeler) as they wait for news of whether the fabled Higgs boson — the so-called "god particle" predicted by the Standard Model of physics — will be confirmed by the $9 billion contraption and place them on the Nobel dais. Fate intervenes in the form of a Visitor from the 23rd century (JR Reed, in an outlandish Spandex bodysuit), who unwittingly sets into motion a slapstick collapse of space-time that rockets the proceedings into the stratosphere of farce. Director Debbie McMahon's lunatic choreography and wicked stage invention, along with an inspired deus ex machina cameo, only slather icing on the cake. The Annex at Artworks Theatre, 6581 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., 10 p.m.; through Feb. 9. (323) 871-1912, brownpapertickets.com/event/297800.
Saturdays, 10 p.m. Starts: Dec. 8. Continues through Feb. 9, 2012