Imagine being so mired in your own depressive dysfunction that you're oblivious to the danger of an escaped tiger roaming the streets of your town.
Such is the plight of the characters in Kim Rosenstock's quirky screwball comedy "Tigers Be Still," now receiving a blisteringly funny production by the Zeitgeist Stage Company.
In lesser hands, this riotously dark romp could easily meander into the world of stereotypes and cliches. But director David Miller mines every word of this gem of a play for comic gold and the result is an abundance of laughter and some truly heartwarming moments.
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Of course it doesn't hurt that Miller had the good sense to cast Becca A. Lewis as Sherry, the most emotionally evolved of the seriously damaged clan. Lewis, arguably the finest comic actress in the area, has never been better. Impeccable timing and organic comic sensibility aside, she displays a keen ability to anchor an ensemble without always being the joke.
As Sherry's jilted, Jack Daniels-swilling sister Grace, Kelley Estes delivers one scene- stealing moment after another. But it's Lewis' authentically hopeful reactions that take them from funny to side-splitting.
Zach Winston is superb as angry, snarky, one-word answering teen Zack. A big reveal from this character, Sherry's co-worker and first art therapy client, could have easily gone into sappy territory -- but with little more than a silver stiletto and a song, Lewis and Winston make the moment perfect.
Peter Brown rounds out the talented ensemble with his touching portrayal of Principal Moore. Though Brown gets plenty of laughs, the palpable heartbreak when he cancels his wife's yoga magazine is one of the finest moments of this flawless production.
If you go
'Tigers Be Still'
Through May 5
BCA Black Box Theatre
539 Tremont St., Boston