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Review – “Zombie Town” at Left Edge Theatre in Santa Rosa – by Harry Duke

thumb_2_The cast of Zombie Town-600.jpg

Review – “Zombie Town” at Left Edge Theatre in Santa Rosa – by Harry Duke

The citizens of Harwood, Texas have endured the unthinkable. They have made it through a zombie attack. Now they have to survive something even more terrifying - the arrival of a San Francisco-based theatre collective determined to soothe their wounds through “the transformative healing power of theatre”.

That’s the terrifically snarky premise behind Tim Bauer’s Zombie Town, running now at Santa Rosa’s Left Edge Theatre. Director Nick Sholley has a terrific ensemble of five (John Browning, Anthony Martinez, AJ Reilly, Rose Roberts and Ron Severdia) on board who are game at taking on twenty-four roles as the targets of Bauer’s barbs. Similar in form only to the documentary play The Laramie Project (NOT content or tone), Bauer uses interviews, “letters home”, radio broadcasts and the like to recreate the havoc visited upon the small Texas town as told by the townspeople and responding authorities.

Zombie 201

Yes, the humor is easy. Yes, it relies on a lot of stereotypes - politicians, car salesmen, conspiracy theorists, heavy metal head banging youth, bureaucrats, radio DJ’s, and accountants are all set up to be knocked down (and occasionally eaten) - but funny is funny and the cast delivers the laughs with their characterizations. Bauer saves his most delicious humor for the oft-pretentious and oh-so-serious segment of the theatre community akin to the show’s “Catharsis Collective”. Ripe for parody, Bauer gently chides the mindset of those that place exaggerated importance on their work and have a great appreciation of their own talent. Director Sholley even carries this idea through with pretentious blocking. Again, funny.

Lest you think the show is just inside-theatre humor mixed with a dash of Hee Haw, fear not, as there’s plenty for the zombie lover, too, including gaping head wounds, blood splattering and the consumption of human flesh (though not, curiously, brains.)  

Fast paced and fitfully funny, Left Edge Theatre’s Zombie Town should appeal to anyone with a sense of humor, and brains…. BRAINS…

Zombie Town

Zombie Town

Presented by Left Edge Theatre

through October 30

Fri/Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 2pm, Saturday, October 29 @ 11pm 

Left Edge Studio Theatre
Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
50 Mark West Springs Rd
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

(707) 546-3600

Photos courtesy of Left Edge Theatre

www.leftedgetheatre.com