Earth Vs. Altair, Queen of Outer Space!

When: Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Aug. 10 2008

Writer-director Daniel Dickinson's sci-fi comedy Earth vs. Altair, Queen of Outer Space!pays tribute to '50s B movies in a campy way similar to the cult film The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. It's an ingenious selection for a small community theater like San Leandro Players, because a few awkward performances (intentional or otherwise) are very much in the spirit of an Ed Wood homage full of pseudo-scientific jargon and cheeseball hyperbole. The inventive staging seats the audience in a spiral in the center of the room with the performance taking place on all sides, complete with Flash Gordon-style costumes and an aluminum-foil-covered spaceship. Harold Hardin II is hilarious as Altair's swishy overseer Prilosec, and Judah Keller-Laub and Terry Guillory are also amusing as bombastic narrator Criswell and needy space dominatrix Altair. Through August 10 at San LeandroMuseum Auditorium (320 West Estudillo Ave., San Leandro) or 510-895-2573.

Sam Hurwitt

Price: $10-$15

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