James Valcq's Zombies From the Beyond takes place in the Eisenhower years, that era of dull certitude when the Soviet Union was America's arch-enemy and the possibility of creatures from outer space invading the planet haunted American popular culture. The play is set in the Milwaukee Space Center, which is run by a military man, Major Malone (Frank Blocker) and his smug underling, Rick (Eric Sand), who is dating Malone's covertly brainy daughter, Mary (Amelia Gotham). Also inhabiting the plot are Malone's man-hungry secretary, Charlie (Lara Fisher), and Trenton (Daniel Jimenez), the newly arrived rocket scientist whose mutual attraction to Mary provokes Rick's green-eyed displeasure. These rom-com elements and the lampooning of a sexist, ultra-patriotic mindset serve as prelude to the main comedic event: the invasion of Earth by extraplanetary zombies, led by Zombina (Alison England), a formidable she-dragon with an outlandish hairdo, in search of male Homo sapiens with whom to mate. Performing such ludicrous camp takes skill, and this production delivers. Dan Spurgeon's direction of a versatile ensemble in a tiny space is admirably adroit. Everyone deserves kudos, but it is England who secures the limelight, radiating a glittering comic menace with her manic stares and scintillating vocals.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: June 13. Continues through July 20, 2014
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