“The Pornozombies” – Nearly Naked Theatre

This review aired on KBAQ April 21, 2014


Nearly Naked Theatre
Phoenix, AZ

Audiences never know exactly what’s in store when they attend a Nearly Naked Theatre production.  The group’s current production, an amazingly silly farce “The Pornozombies,” is one of the most off the wall shows the company has ever presented.  In fact, this show is full of off-color language and blatantly sexual situations.

I had a good time and laughed a lot but “The Pornozombies” is not really theater.  It spoofs bizarre porn with outlandishly lewd scenes and the characters crazy desires fuel flagrant sexual obsessions that are quite lascivious.  If you are easily offended by weird sexual situations, “The Pornozombies” is not for you.

For spoofs to be hysterically amusing, they must be performed with impeccable comic timing.  On opening night, many of the performers weren’t yet comfortable with the wacky shenanigans transpiring in playwright Matt Casarino heavily satirized plot.

We are at a Phoenix Elks Lodge.  Non-traditional Detective Karla is investigating Dr. Hadfield who has the ability to bring dead people back to life as zombies.  A narrator guides us through the wild investigation of Dr. Hadfield’s creations.  We also meet various porn buyers.  There’s a couple riddled with sexual issues, there are reporters, there are porn customers, and just about every kind of sexual deviant.  That’s enough background for theatergoers to know if “The Pornozombies” is for them.

Director Damon Dering stages with madcap pacing but since the performers aren’t yet comfortable with the frantic pacing things dragged a bit opening night.  Performers that sparkled are Aaron Blanco who is a devilishly cynical Narrator who ultimately gets involved with the plot’s mad goings-on.  Stefan Jorgensen was hysterically mousey as porn customer Sherman, and Doug Loynd has a field day as the mad Dr. Hadfield.  Also good was Brock Palmer in three small roles including Detective Karla’s peculiar Clerk.

Laura Anne Kenney tries hard as Detective Karla but her outlandish accent isn’t consistent and her wild mannerisms were so erratic indicating she lacks complete comfort with her part.  The rest of the cast will no doubt sharpen and make the funny cynicism more amusing as the performances progress.

“The Pornozombies” is a wacky, crazy, sexual spoof that offers laughs and fun that will hopefully get sharper as the run progresses. It continues through May 10 at the Hardes Theatre at Phoenix Theatre.  For tickets, call the Phoenix Theatre box office at 602-254-2151 or order tickets online at www.nearlynakedtheatre.org.

Grade: C