“The Tumbleweed Zephyr” presented by Pork Filled Productions

Return to the wild west of the late 19th C. where the steam powered Tumbleweed Zephyr heads across country from the tame east to the wilds of the Western Territories. Prepare to meet a couple of naive travelers as well as the train’s equivalent of “ladies of the night,” card sharks, a pompous conductor, and bandits who arrive via airship. Amy Poisson directs this crazy mix of characters and makes the most of all the surprises in this charming and silly steampunk experience that manages to offer a few lessons too.


The Hernandex brothers, Kai and Atticus (Manuel Cawaling and Kevin Lin) wait for The Tumbleweed Zephyr.

Even more significant than the story of two brothers on a mission, is the crazy tom-foolery they encounter on the train. The cast members work well together. Special kudos go to Costume Designer Jocelyne Fowler who dresses them all in charming Victorian garb. Her most impressive work presents itself on Linnea Ingalls and Madison Jade Jones, the ladies of pleasure. Their low-cut dresses appear to be held up by nothing more than divine forces. They defy the laws of gravity.

The production crew too deserves praise. The train car is wonderful, and its wheels are a delightful surprise when they appear. Then there are the creative projections that provide a sense of moving across the country during day and night.

Playwright Maggie Lee wrote this as a spin-off from “The Clockwork Professor” another steampunk, science fiction piece she wrote that premiered in Seattle a couple of years ago by the same theatre company. Pork Filled Productions is an Asian American Theatre group that prides itself on its multi-cultural productions.

This is a production aimed to amuse, no serious intellectual challenges here, just good fun.

Through August 29 at 12th Ave. Arts, 1620 12th Ave., Seattle, (206 486-0375, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/press/1388227

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