I've never seen an episode of Star Trek. There, I've said it - and I'm damn proud of it. So while I may be a nerd, I'm not a dork, at least in the sense of dorkitude that fills Broom Street Theater's new comedy, Dork Side of the Moon. Writer/director Brian Wild's script is filled with pop-culture references sure to be recognized by geeks everywhere: Star Wars, DC and Marvel Comics, Harry Potter and, of course, Star Trek.
Dork Side is the tale of best friends from childhood, Scott and Corey, who are now grown up. Or at least one of them is. While Corey indulges his boyish passion for tinkering with inventions, Scott slogs through a relentless job as an IT drone, going home to his hairball-puking cats and tedious home-repair projects.
All of that changes when one of Corey's inventions transports Corey, Scott and Scott's ex, Raven, to the moon, where they have to protect themselves, a little girl known as the "chosen one" and the Earth from the diabolical plans of Emperor Ping of the Pong Empire and his vixenish second-in-command, Kay-Roh, clad in skintight black garb.
While Dork Side wears its political humor lightly, it's not hard to see the nitwitted Ping as an out-of-touch, Dubya-like character and Kay-Roh as his shrewder, more venal VP, a mix of Cheney and Karl Rove.
Although the show runs about two and half hours (including pre-show announcements and intermission), the pace is brisk due to frequent scene changes and lots of movement. Dork Side is anything but static; the dozen-member cast (most of whom play multiple roles) rush in and out of the four entrances to Broom Street's spartan stage.
As the dastardly Kay-Roh, BST regular Heather Renken gives the most accomplished, fully realized performance. She clearly relishes her character's nefarious bravado. David Holcombe brings the right dash of childlike glee to the immature but good-natured Corey, and Jeff Wilson is a believable 30-ish everydude as Scott.
An elaborate sound design by Wild (with Karyn Schairer as sound tech) not only punches up the action but adds another layer of pop-culture references (using music from Superman and Aliens, for example).
Costumes by Siobhan Edge give the production a fitting touch of Flash Gordon-style camp. Corey in particular wears a doozy - a shiny concoction of bright yellow and hot pink fabric with stripy socks and sneakers.
Dork Side, which got plenty of laughs during the well-attended performance I saw, is the kind of light, fun fare that may not seem to offer much depth. Yet on closer inspection, one can tease out themes of friendship, courage and imagination that are utterly appropriate to the sci-fi and fantasy sources to which Wild's script pays homage. So laugh it up, fuzzball, but reflect on it later.