The wordy yet fast-paced Hot Steams begins with a pantsless man in a Santa suit (Braeson Herold) passed out on the floor of a jail cell, in a pool of his own vomit. When he wakes, with no memory of his identity or the actions that landed him there, he finds that he’s been paired with an eccentric accused murderer (Zach Wegner, who also wrote the play). The two build an unlikely friendship over poetry books and a mysterious long-distance lover—even as “Santa” is goaded by an antsy officer (Garrett Neergaard) to give up information that could lead to his cellmate’s conviction. Strong chemistry among the actors, directed by Jaclyn Biskup, lets the audience dive into their world as the plot steams ahead.—Alexandra Early
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