“You can find her in the Lunatic Choir,” says the gray-haired, almost skeletal-faced Jon (Josh Patton), directing Hosea Nova (Sebastian Munoz) to the object of his desire, Theresa Ann (Vanessa Cate). Sure, Jon unintentionally raised her from the dead, and she's blind, but the snarling, lizard-tongued, half-blind Hosea has bigger problems than an undead, unseeing lover, as she's less of a godly saint than a lusty siren. Robert Riemer's nutcase of a play is stacked with kooky characters (it is set in an insane asylum), but what elevates it beyond just another collection of crackpot cuck-oos nursing wild imaginings is director Zombie Joe's damn near elegant staging. Gluing together a motley crew of wild-eyed women (Tina Preston's nest of hair and tongue stained candy-red from spitting up blood are especially bonkers), he almost transforms them into royal sisters sitting for a portrait. Utilizing ZJU's sometimes cozy, sometimes creepy shoebox of a theater, he has Theresa's fingers crawl up a wall to reach Hosea, who's perched in the pocket of space above the stage. Lighting a nude love scene by an actual candle is another small, yet striking, touch. The actors have a tendency to screech, and in the small theater it's distracting to the point of irritating. But when the Lunatic Choir's cacophony morphs into “Hey Jude,” it's worth it.
Saturdays, 8:30 p.m. Starts: Nov. 12. Continues through Dec. 10, 2011

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