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San Francisco Fringe 2016

It Came from Fukushima

Undefined Symbol Theater

Genre: Comedy, Sci-fi

Venue: Exit Theatre


Low Down

“It Came From Fukushima is a comedy about a radioactive creature attacking San Francisco. It blends Film Noir & Sci-fi to tell a tale of fear, greed, hope & survival. Will the monster destroy San Francisco? Will nuclear contamination signal the end of the world? Is humankind the most dangerous monster of all?”


A disheveled washed up Sam Spade type character called Ray talks to the audience in a somber lit office, when the latest news is projected on a large screen reporting about the Fukushima incident.

It turns out Ray is no longer working as a private detective because he has joined the ranks of the bloggers. He seems to be enjoying being a nondescript blogger with less stress – but now he has a drinking problem….suddenly, a smart and classy lady, called Eugenia, interrupts him. She begs him to do one last job.

Gradually more characters emerge to take us on a slick and humorous science fiction detective story set in the Bay Area. Lt. Martinez arrives chewing a tooth pick and wearing a black suit, the story unfolds at a fast pace – Science speak about ending diseases, a neuropathic prototype, Dr. Kurtz…where is Dr. Geiger? There is a monster?

Actually, in between the well-timed humor there are deep seated environmental issues and serious provocations, so this is theatre that cleverly informs, which is always a good thing – and the characters are so interesting that the information and warnings are woven into the dialogue and visuals.

Written by Bill Hyatt and directed by Don Hardwick, the ensemble of excellent actors (Brian Levi, Melissa Quine, Miyoko Sakatani, Peter Allas, Melody Perera, Tom Bleecker, John Lennon Harrison), play several quick change characters, most are double cast, and they are equally energetic and convincing in each character. Stylish costumes of the characters include a lot of black, touches of black lace, green satin, the required of this genre trench coat, a white lab coat and a French beret.

Sound effects and several brief clips of breaking news punctuate the show, they all add to the build and intensity of the situation. There are some surprises, but I don’t want to divulge them here! Before the show Georgianna Kreiger plays a mean saxophone and evokes an atmosphere inside the darkly lit theatre.

In all, this is an entertaining, well acted comedic show. It’s a very fast thought provoking hour!