LOVE POLLUTION: A TEKNO-POPERA, Nomenil Theatre Company, at the Loop Theater. This musical is a mass of contradictions, carefully considered yet seemingly as spontaneous and chaotic as an improvised show. The actors are painstakingly costumed and made-up, yet they careen through scenes so haphazardly–sometimes creating wonderful stage pictures, sometimes mere anarchy–that one wonders whether they spent much time in rehearsal.

But then that seems the point of Allen Conkle and Courtney Evans’s satiric postmodern fairy tale, which premiered last fall at the Rhino festival and has since been revised. Life is messy and contradictory. The innocent are punished. Evildoers rise to positions of power. Neatening things up would be false to our bitter world.

Delivering one harsh truth after another, Conkle and Evans depend on their swiftly changing scenes and the cast’s remarkable comic performances–like Andrea Cornett’s drop-dead brilliant naif–to keep the audience laughing. A good thing too, because otherwise this dead-on critique of our crazed, consumer-driven society would be devastating. Thankfully it’s leavened by the camp comedy and by Christopher Powers’s mock-heroic songs.