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Earth Sucks

In writer-director Jonas Oppenheim’s frothy sci-fi musical comedy, Earth’s main contribution to the Cosmos is rock & roll. Angsty high school junior Echo (Emily Stern, perhaps a little too snide) fantasizes about falling in love with a handsome outer space creature who would whisk her away to the stars for a variety of adventures doing whatever it is a human and an alien can do together. To achieve this goal, Echo transmits a song out into the galaxy, luring to Earth a wacky outer space rock band, headed by the illustrious Fluhbluhbluh (Lucas Revolution), a handsome young bachelor in a red spandex Gumby suit, who speaks through a bug-eyed sock puppet. Unfortunately for Echo, it turns out that her NASA scientist dad (Christopher Fairbanks) has been negotiating with sultry, villainous she-alien Ulinia Swords (Nakia Syvonne), who’s aiming to use NASA’s radio telescope to broadcast a diabolical siren song that will turn the entire population of the universe into her slaves. The piece boasts a number of invigorating hard-rock numbers in the style of the Ramones, the Talking Heads and Devo. Still, the crackling music is integrated into a singularly sloppy book, with problems compounded by unfocused gags and Oppenheim’s hyperactive blocking. The show would earn more respect as a rock opera without any dialogue: Syvonne’s hilariously wild-eyed, throaty turn is both funny and tuneful, in the style of Eartha Kitt. And Revolution’s alien crooner brings to mind David Byrne.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Oct. 4. Continues through Nov. 2, 2008


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