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Romantic notions explode in SLAC's 'Boom'

"BOOM," through Dec. 5, Salt Lake Acting Company (801-363-0526); running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes (no intermission)

Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's play "Boom" is tricky to write about for fear of giving away any of the fun.

But Salt Lake Acting Company's "not-so-romantic comedy" is certainly one worth talking about.

Directed by Robin Wilks-Dunn, the play begins in a basement lab, as Jules and Jo work through the first awkward moments of a "first date." However, this is not your average meet-each-other-online first date. And, as it turns out, what Jules has in mind could just change the course of the world.

But enough about that. Like I said, I'd hate to give anything away.

Nachtrieb's work may make you pause to consider "Why are we here?" "How much control do I have over my life?" and "Where do we all come from anyway?"

Though you'll get a lesson or two on evolution, "Boom" is much more fun than a science class.

The SLAC production offers three fine performances that help push a slightly implausible story into the realm of a very funny possibility.

Luckily, fish don't pull focus like a dog or child could, or the star of the show may just be Roscoe, who plays "Dorothy" swimmingly.

The rest of the cast is led by David Fetzer as Jules, a crazy and unlucky marine biologist who has developed an interesting theory on the health of the planet. Fetzer turns in a very believable performance of science nerd. He's unsure, timid and eccentric — though at times it felt like he was mimicking Seinfeld's Kramer in mannerisms and delivery. Other than those brief times, he is very funny and engaging.

His "date" Jo is played by Emily Burnworth. Again, without saying too much, she does a wonderful job of playing a fellow outcast and manages to handle a lot of physical comedy without too much bruising.

And, rounding out the three-person/one-fish cast, is Holly Fowers, whose facial expressions and hand gestures are so perfect for her storytelling. At times, a well-delivered sigh was all it took for this mysterious character to get a laugh.

"Boom" is a lot of fun and actually, leaves you with a bit to mull over on your drive home.

Sensitivity rating: Frequent strong language, sexual situations.

e-mail: ehansen@desnews.com