The Lost Vegas Series, Zebra Crossing Theatre. For anyone who complains about the lack of strong female characters in contemporary theater and film, playwright Julie Jensen has an answer in the world premiere of The Lost Vegas Series, an intelligent, humorous, heartfelt portrayal of a woman’s ability to survive. In six connected vignettes we follow Our Girl, as she’s called, as she deals with men, makes a living, and copes with her dysfunctional family in the flashy desert oasis of Las Vegas. Because the play is set in the capital of American excess, Our Girl’s encounters are a bit more surreal than if she were a working girl in a city or small town; she makes intimate contact with a tourist in a Liberace museum and a Judy Garland impersonator dressed like a circus performer in a casino lobby. Jensen’s writing has the wit to carry these scenes and make her heroine’s journey believable; Marguerite Hammersley plays the role honestly and passionately. By the last scene, Our Girl’s struggles and pain are poignantly real.

Director Andrea Urice finds just the right pacing and imaginatively brings the script to life in a minimalist staging. She’s also cast a supporting ensemble that matches Hammersley’s bravado performance. Rebecca Hamlin’s set subtly suggests Vegas, and Donna M. Kress’s fantastic costumes hit the characters on the mark.

–Gabrielle S. Kaplan