Just like the film, the airplane scenes are acted against a shower curtain backdrop. And the flying saucers are glued-together picnic plates dangled on a string.

The plot, if you can call it that, is less sturdy than the saucers. Aliens, zombies, A-bombs, car wrecks, Dracula. Level Ground's cast injects some of their own madness, mostly when pieces of the scenery fly apart, which happens frequently. Their judicious use of puppets, Barbie dolls, fog machines and lawn furniture adds to the wack factor.

With 37 company members working for next to nothing, Level Ground Arts may be the most ambitious, minimally funded and strangest (in a good way) acting company in town at the moment. They drew standing room crowds this fall for Evil Dead: The Musical, then played to crickets with an experimental new drama by Fountain called Crushing Grain, about Lee Harvey Oswald. They sometimes have three shows running at once and plan to produce at least nine more, including the premieres of three musicals and another B-movie tribute, next year.

James Crawford brings the proper spirit to the role of Jacob Marley.
Brandon Thibodeaux
James Crawford brings the proper spirit to the role of Jacob Marley.


A Christmas Carol continues at Dallas Theater Center through December 27. Call 214-880-0202.

Plan Nine From Outer Space continues at Dallas Hub Theater through December 19. Call 877-238-5596.

To borrow a line from Plan Nine: I'll bet my badge that we haven't seen the last of these weirdies.

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