When: Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 5 p.m. Continues through Aug. 31 2008
In Liz Duffy Adams' play The Listener, as in the Pixar flick WALL-E, the earth has become so overrun with trash that people have left in search of new worlds to junk. The denizens of JunkCity have specific roles: Finders (Michael Moran and Rami Margron) find junk, Namer (Lawrence Radecker) names it, and Listener (Juliet Tanner) radios to see if there's anyone out there. When John (Cole Alexander Smith) comes from the moon to see who's left on earth, it shakes up this social order and provides someone to explain it to. Adams' 2004 Dog Act explored a similar post-apocalyptic future, and The Listener isn't nearly as well fleshed out although it takes pains at every opportunity to explain itself. But Crowded Fire and director Kent Nicholson gives it a strong production with sharp performances and a marvelous junk-heap set by Melpomene Katakalos. Through August 3 at Traveling Jewish Theatre (470 Florida St., San Francisco) and August 15-31 at Ashby Stage (1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley). CrowdedFire.org or 415-433-1235.