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Arts and Entertainment

'Laboratories of Our Youth' an Experiment in Period Farce

Alex Hensley and Graham Bowlin play around with romantic chemistry "Laboratories of Our Youth" (Photo: Darryl DeLaney)
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Harvey (Jesse Threatt) and Abe (Graham Bowlin) are a pair of "Mad Men"-era physics grad student roommates in love with the same Dartmouth coed (Alex Hensley) in Bowlin's new play "Laboratories of Our Youth," now running at the Flight Theatre in the Complex. Before you know it, they also find themselves hosting a flamboyant Italian scientist (Dustin Gooch) with a reputation for seducing young male proteges, along with his enigmatically deviant aide-de-camp Johann (Travis Coles). Hijinks ensue.

The play is full of plot points which aren't all that interesting, but they do serve as vehicles for some fairly potent comedic vignettes. Gooch and Coles get the meatiest laugh material, and Hensley makes for a very watchable ingenue. "Laboratories of Our Youth" is an ambitious attempt to conjure a sophisticatedly silly contemporary farce with historically resonant trappings, but its underlying thematic material fails to produce a chemical reaction and the final compound is something less than the sum of its parts.

"Laboratories of Our Youth," directed by Cameron Strittmater, plays tonight, Thursday and next Sunday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets $7.50 and $10.50 on goldstar.