Matthew J. Palm

'Loon'

Delightful, whimsical and heartfelt, "Loon" exposes the most basic human emotions with charming, original style. The Wonderheads, a Portland, Ore., theater company, have devised a visual and aural treat in which a man falls in love with the moon.

The man is played by Kate Braidwood in an extraordinary full-face mask. With pants hiked too high, tie hanging too low, stooped shoulders and a little shuffle, Braidwood creates Francis the janitor — excuse me, custodial engineer.

Francis' fanciful story is told without words. You'll never miss them

Wistful cello music sets the tone. Pop standards like Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual" cue a change in mood. And that mask, despite immovable features, is remarkably expressive.

"Loon" is a touching depiction of loneliness, hope, disappointment, grief and love. It's absolutely beautiful.

60 mins. Rated G. Green venue. Shows: 5-24, 5:30 p.m.; 5-25, 8:30 p.m.; 5-26, 12:45 p.m.

Matthew J. Palm

'Man 1, Bank 0'

In the ongoing battle between man and machine, score one for our side.

That's the loosely presented moral of "Man 1, Bank 0," everyman Patrick Combs' tale of how junk-mail check, an ATM, a practical joke and the banking bureaucracy yielded unexpected riches that were compounded into a windfall of fame and trouble.

On a whim, Combs deposited a seemingly obvious pretend check for $95,093.35 into his ATM. When his bank honored it, the suddenly rich slacker boards an emotional roller-coaster that rushes past greed, guilt, joy and anxiety toward a spectacular comedic triumph.

Although not an actor, Combs delivers his tale with flawless comedic timing and remarkable stage presence. His story is augmented by a slideshow that features key documents and quirky personalities in an unbelievable, but true string of events.

And the ending? It's also rich in humor and heart, with a feel-good twist for the practical joker, too.

Put all that together and this show about money is really priceless.

75 mins. Rated G. Orange venue. Shows: 5-24, 9:45 p.m.; 5-25, 1:30 p.m.

Jim Abbott

'Pillow Talk'

In the realistic and very funny "Pillow Talk," two young men are spending the night on the only bed in the trailer that's home to one's grandmother (and her vicious ferret).