Credit: Michael Courier

I’ll admit Factory Theater had me at “cheerleading squad must save the
universe,” about as shrewdly idiotic a theatrical setup as the company has
concocted in its 26-year history. And the first few minutes of Jill
Oliver’s vulgar, trashy, childish romp reveal unexpected layers of
additional idiocy. A trio of incessantly spirited high school cheerleaders
(actually, one is preternaturally disagreeable by nature), joined by a fey,
fawning, troopless Boy Scout, must follow their extraterrestrial coach into
a dumpster in order to transport themselves to the realm of Lej, where
diabolical Lady Mauron rules with an iron vagina (don’t ask). Lej’s
mystical oracle, the Spirit Tree, has turned into a potty-mouthed perv, and
the squad must jam a stick in its hole to stave off intergalactic ruin.

By design, it’s an adolescent mess, akin to a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
episode written by 13-year-old boys on crank. Director Spenser Davis keeps
everything moving at a breakneck pace for 55 minutes, packing in great gobs
of intentionally amateurish theatricality (Lady Mauron magically dissolves
by walking offstage in plain view of everyone). While both playwright and
director would be wise to carve out a bit of breathing room in the action,
if only to help audiences navigate several currently incomprehensible plot
turns, the evening’s furious precision is a technical feat.

Best of all, the play teaches no lesson. Having helped save the universe by
showing that “spirit” conquers all, the preternaturally disagreeable
cheerleader moans, “I learned nothing.”   v