''P.S. Page Me Later" is an entertaining spin through the scraps of other people's lives. The source material for the production is a series of entries in Found Magazine, a publication that features randomly discovered notes, pictures, and doodles of people exhibiting emotions from happiness to hysteria. Alarm Clock Theatre Company has built characters and conversations that represent imaginary back stories for these very personal fragments. Writers, musicians, and filmmakers bring these stories to life.
It's a sizable, complicated production, and the simpler the staging, the more effective the scene. Still images of the found items are projected onto a screen before each segment begins. There are also short films, which work best when they introduce or reinforce the strong and seemingly fearless six-person ensemble onstage. When operating alone on a small screen at the back of the Plaza Black Box Theatre at Boston Center for the Arts, the films languish.
The action is divided into six thematic chunks with such names as ''Love," ''Wisdom," and ''Food." These headings serve as guideposts for the nearly 40 vignettes in the show, many of which fly by in less than a minute. Director Sally Dennis tries to establish some dramatic continuity, with mixed results. There are recurring appearances by a young woman whose journal was found by a stranger in a public park. The woman appears and delivers bits of her budding wisdom in the style of Jack Handy's Deep Thoughts on ''Saturday Night Live." It's humorous but does not add significant cohesiveness to the evening.
Mixed into all the madness of ''P.S. Page Me Later" are some genuinely moving and whimsical creations. All the performers are strong, with Alarm Clock newcomers Alicia Barnatchez and Cathleen Carr delivering some of the most proficiently absurd acting and singing, the latter accompanied by three live musicians. In fact, many of the ''Found" scraps inspired full-on musical numbers. Highlights include Peter Fernandez's sarcastic song ''Happy Father's Day" and Steve Gilbane's ''None of Us Are Gay," a tune that explains away the previous night's overly intimate fraternity pledge hazing activities, accompanied by a slide show of assorted house-party pictures, presumably discovered on various sidewalks across the country.
And then there are those scenes that don't work at all. Less successful entries either go on too long or have too weak a connection to the found items inspiring them, as is the case with ''I Waited but You Never Came," a conversation between a woman in bed and her male lover ironing in the next room. The urgency of their conversation doesn't match the text that's featured.
Despite a handful of dramatic doldrums, ''P.S. Page Me Later" maintains enough momentum to be a credible if crazy show. With some strategic cuts and a more consistent narrative, the production could easily find a life beyond Boston.