Fuddy Meers opens with Claire (J. Smith Cameron) waking up to greet the morn, yet this morn, like all her morns, finds her unable to remember anything of the day before, or the day before that, or the day before that. It's a hell of a daring conceit to have a central character suffering from amnesia-or at least a faux-factual form of it-but the idea, curiously, roots the play like the calming eye of an oncoming comedic storm.
Typically Claire is aided in her tabula rasa life by her husband Richard (Robert Stanton), who has meticulously created a handbook as a guide to living, moment to moment, throughout the day. On this particular day, however, Claire is scooped away by a Limping Man (Patrick Breen), a schizoid ex-con with a barely functioning, deformed ear who soon persuades Claire to allow him to abduct her (think about that). Limping Man, spinning tall tales of brotherly love for Claire, soon brings her to the home of her mother, Gertie (Marylouise Burke). A stroke victim, Gertie has regained her power of speech, but what she no longer possesses is the ability to pronounce compound words or adhere to anything remotely resembling English syntax. As Gertie stammers through and helplessly strangulates the language, phrases like "funhouse mirrors" quickly become "fuddy meers" and the fun, in short, begins.
When Richard discovers that Claire is missing, he quickly sets out to find her, bringing in tow Kenny (Keith Nobbs), Claire's teenage son, a mopheaded pothead for whom the term "irreverent" would be a titanic understatement. Still, given the bizarre characters moving about Kenny's THC-laced world, Lindsay-Abaire does make a rather compelling case for continuous cannibis consumption.
While searching the highways high and low for Claire, Kenny and soon Richard get high (a scene staged delightfully by director David Petrarca), setting up the perfect moment for a policewoman--with the unlikely name of Heidi (Clea Lewis)--to pull them over. Under normal circumstances Richard is a gentle man, but this time, determined to find his wife, he masterfully subdues Heidi, holds her at gunpoint, and the three of them continue the journey.
Richard already suspects that Claire is with her mother, and when they finally arrive at Gertie's house, they encounter not only Claire and Gertie and the aurally-challenged Limping Man, but another ex-con, Millet (John Christopher Jones), a closet claustrophobe with what can only be described as an unnatural attachment to a invective-loving sock puppet. Plot twists, shocking revelations and endless streams of Gertie's twisted, tongue-tying syntax jauntily follow until the play plays itself to its natural, as it were, conclusion.