Starship Troy: Fame. By 8 p.m. the place is jammed. The audience looks young, some as young as high-schoolers, others in college; there are couples, gay and straight, and a scattering of older folk. Starship Troy is one of Buntport's informal efforts to create cheap, fun, accessible theater. It is a dramatized cartoon, each episode lasting about 45 minutes. The premise: A dump truck orbits space on a mission to clean things up. Its addled crew includes all the usual Buntport suspects: Erik Edborg, who for some reason has dryer-duct tubing sticking out of his front and who cuddles a white stuffed animal; cynical Hannah Duggan; Erin Rollman as an expressionless android (watching Rollman trying to remain expressionless is a comic feast); half-ape Brian Colonna; and Evan Weissman as something, well, something epicene and highly sexualized. An audience member volunteers as Ensign McCoy, who — in a tribute to South Park's Kenny, and perhaps to the Goon Show's Bluebottle before him ("You have deaded me again!") — gets killed in every show. This is throwaway theater in the best sense. If a line thuds to earth, no matter; it's gone as soon as it's said. If a piece of business is pure brilliance — too bad! It'll never be seen again, either. But what the hell, there's always another episode. Presented by Buntport Theater every Tuesday and Wednesday through May, 717 Lipan Street, 720-946-1388, www.buntport.com. Reviewed November 15.
Stones in His Pockets. This is a small play — charming, wistful, not quite sure what it wants to be. At first it's simply one of those clash-of-culture satires. A film company has plumped itself down in a village in rural County Kerry, Ireland, disrupting everyday life. Caroline Giovanni, the lead, sashays around, exciting the lust of the locals, issuing orders, enlisting a starstruck villager to coach her on an authentic Irish accent. The director and his minions worry about the endless rain and grumble that the local cows don't look sufficiently Irish. The central figures are two men working as extras for forty pounds a day. The actors who play them also take on all the other roles, switching characters in moments, aided by no more than a cap, a prop, a change in posture or vocal tone. The actors' versatility provides one of the primary pleasures of this production. But things bog down in the second act, when playwright Marie Jones seems to be going for deeper emotion. When Jake complains bitterly about a relative getting thrown out of the pub — his own pub in his own village — for attempting to approach Giovanni, it's telling. When this point is made again, it just feels stale. Presented by the Denver Victorian Playhouse through April 5, 4201 Hooker Street, 303-433-4343. www.denvervic.com. Reviewed March 20.