‘Extropia’ at the King King Theatre

Credit: Keith Roenke.
March 18, 2010

In the future, gray is the new black and Lady Gaga has been gagged.

That is to say, there is no music in the sci-fi world of “Extropia,” a droll sound-effects play now at King King in Hollywood.

Foster (Sam Littlefield) has a “sufficient” life with a tidy wife (Sara Arrington) and an assembly line job making shoes. But when this everyman and a limber coworker (Alexandra Fulton) suddenly hear a rhythmic beat in a machine, all hell breaks loose — footloose, that is.

Cue “Stomp” meets “Fahrenheit 451”: Pretty soon the two rock out to everything from frog croaks to factory whistles and must be “retrained” if aural order is to be maintained.

A project created by Seattle-based Collaborator theater company and graduates of American Repertory Theater, “Extropia” has real precision and wit. The actors mime movements scored with Foley effects, both live and recorded. Kelleia Sheerin’s direction, Mark Sparling’s music supervision, and Katie Miller’s choreography combine to produce a wry physical language that mixes Bauhaus ballet with the Three Stooges. Littlefield’s epiphanic spasms charm, and Fulton finds plenty to say with her hips.

“Extropia” is being performed at area schools as an inspirational fable about the power of free expression and the arts — which makes sense, given its limited plot and characterizations. If this quirky show doesn’t quite satisfy as a play, it’s a sonic excursion you won’t forget.

– Charlotte Stoudt

“Extropia” King King, 6553 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Sundays. Ends April 14. $20. Contact: 323-960-7721. Running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Photo: Sam Littlefield.