CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME by Madeleine Olnek, directed by Gina Kaufmann, with Maureen Angelos, Suzanne Bennett, Erin Bouvy, Brendan Gall, Laura Kim, Amanda Parsons, Lisa Ann Ross and Jarret Wright. February 19-23 at 10 pm. Rating: NNNNN
ever feel like you're from an-other planet when you're trying to find a compatible partner?You're not alone, but please have some extra compassion for the few love-oriented denizens of the planet Zotz, a tiny world near the rings of Saturn, who are shipped to Earth to cure them of romantic tendencies.
That's the premise of New York writer Madeleine Olnek's Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same, which begins like an X-Files abduction piece but ends up making a telling comment on earthlings' emotional insecurities.
"There's a great sketch-comedy feel to her material," says director Gina Kaufmann, who's collaborated with the playwright on several projects in the States, "but audiences always respond to the relationships and ideas in the play."
Though there's a central couple -- Jane and Zoinx -- two other aliens from Zotz do their best to connect with Earth women. One fruitlessly sends out thousands of one-line love letters.
"Focusing on someone who's alien -- maybe from another culture -- lets you look at your own world in another way. Through the Zotz characters Madeleine examines funny little points of courtship ritual, but there are more fundamental things, like they don't play emotional games. Once Zoinx and Jane connect, there's no manipulation, no breaking up and getting back together."
Kaufmann's cast includes Clown Hall's Erin Bouvy and Lisa Ann Ross as well as Maureen Angelos, a member of the New York troupe The Five Lesbian Brothers.
"But I don't plan to emphasize funny alien bits. The clearer and simpler the style is, the better. While the piece is absurd in lots of ways, it's also about lesbians who aren't worried about coming out.
"At base it's a story about getting together with someone despite incredible differences. The otherworldly Zoinx, realizing the difference between Jane and herself, notes that "the chance of love occurring mutually for beings such as Jane and I is as frequent as the rotation of Zactar."
And we all know how rare that firstname.lastname@example.org