Lune, Pronounced Loony
B Street Theatre’s new production, a world-premiere comedy commissioned by the theater, starts off with great promise. Lune, Pronounced Loony, written by B Street favorite Kira Obolensky and directed by Buck Busfield, is a fledgling play unveiled to local audiences at a theater known for promoting new works. The premise is an imaginative one: Stage a play inside the Acme Co., made famous in Looney Tunes for exploding cartoon props. Portray the employees of the executive office—secretary, salesperson and president—in their day-to-day work environment, with all the absurdities and topsy-turvy elements imagined.Paint everything with a clever cartoon veneer. There are characters in oversized colorful costumes and crazy hairdos, voices in cartoonish caricature, gestures and expressions of slapstick silliness, “Boing!” sound effects, and props such as giant hammers and nets. Pick a talented cast: B street regulars Kurt Johnson as paranoid salesman Sam, Elisabeth Nunziato as a Jessica Rabbit-esque femme fatale, Greg Alexander as a very funny Elmer Fudd-like president and Jason Kuykendall as the mysterious stranger and long-lost son of a departed co-president. Produce some clever dialogue, which Obolensky does. And provide a cohesive plotline.
Oh no! The one missing element! (Boing!)
There is a story struggling to get out somewhere, just nowhere evident. There’s a mystery revolving around a father, a Dreamaphone that’s never really explained, a ghost in the woods that never appears, a ticking sound, cartoon employees who never grow old, and a son-turned-into-father-turned-into-son. It’s like a Dilbert office scene on acid—bad acid. The creative concept of a cartoon world quickly crumbles into chaos.
Lune, Pronounced Loony is a work-in-progress that hasn’t arrived yet. It’s a shame, because there is so much imagination infused in the production, and everyone involved is obviously having fun. Still, it pulls the audience into a vortex void of any coherency. B Street Theatre rarely missteps, but this time it stumbled and fell.