As the old saying goes: Zombies are easy; marriage is hard. Dave Lankford’s promising Night of the Living toggles between two time periods in the imperfect union between Mia (Belle Caplis) and Marshall (Eric Kuhnemann). In one, they bicker bitterly over money, fidelity, vacation plans and the health of their young son; in the other, set a few years later, they support each other in a city overrun by undead victims of a worldwide pandemic. The play’s clever central conceit—that Mia and Marshall are miserable in comfort and happier clinging to normalcy amid catastrophe—is further ironized by the play’s structure: The couple is mostly shown together in the first period but apart in the second, when Marshall is out of their apartment and they communicate by walkie-talkie. This means that Caplis is alone onstage for much of the show, and she has impressive moments in a hugely demanding role. But Jenny Beth Snyder’s direction does not consistently evoke a real world (even by Fringe standards, the set is distractingly cheap-o), and the dialogue reproduces tiresome couples-therapy vitriol rather too well. The play works fine as a high-concept horror-thriller, but a richer sense of the couple’s tenseness could give their present and future more life.—Adam Feldman
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