In the pop culture-savvy year of 2011, deriving ironic laughs from the stale clichés of decades-old television series is about as unexpected as the ol' pie-in-the-face gag. Nevertheless, as the latter can attest, the comic proposition of some material retains a curious potency, especially when pitched with skewered vision. Take Theatre Arlo as a case in point. The irreverent jesters memorably applied their sharp comic acumen to pop culture in their holiday production, A Christmas Carol: The Golden Girls Remix. Recreating episodes of an oft-dismissed '80s sitcom, the show proved equal parts send-up and tribute. Bridging the two attributes resulted in a surprising level of affection that prevented mockery from sinking the sentiment. Theatre Arlo will need such comedic buoyancy with their latest effort, H.M.S. Pacific Princess Boat. Featuring an all-new script by local humorist/playwright Bill Stiteler, the production embellishes the woefully dated styles of '70s television. Magically transporting an obsessive Love Boat fan into a realm of primetime fantasy, the play sets a course to reclaim the formulaic contrivances and archaic archetypes that once defined network entertainment.
Thursdays, 7 p.m.; Fri., April 8, 7 p.m. Starts: April 7. Continues through April 28, 2011