CHILDREN OF STRANGELOVE, OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WHINING AND DIG THE NEW BREED, Aardvark Theatre Company, at the Famous Door Theatre Company. Set in the year 2060 in the extensive underground Dr. Strangelove had built as a retreat for the ruling elite in the event of a nuclear war–which comes at the end of Stanley Kubrick’s classic film–Vincent Bruckert’s play Children of Strangelove concerns a decadent, authoritarian culture led by an oversexed, overacting amazon; a lone rebel wants to free the people, return to the surface, and re-create life as we know it.

In the right hands this silly, campy, sci-fi sequel to Dr. Strangelove might have been merely annoying. Bruckert seems to know nothing about how to tell a story onstage; he interrupts himself constantly with shtick that isn’t funny, gross-out jokes that fail to shock, and scenes that do nothing to advance the plot. But in the inexpert hands of Ann Filmer and her clueless cast, Bruckert’s laughless dark comedy–full of arch performances and comic bits so ineptly performed they’re unrecognizable as humor–becomes a two-hour ordeal.

–Jack Helbig