Laura Richardson’s “Come Back Little Horny” swings for the fences but hits a loud foul ball. Richardson presents us with an archetypically dysfunctional household. The younger daughter, Raven (Danielle Weeks) has written a novel based on the family containing truths they can’t face. As the truths come out, the fireworks are set off. Raven also gets an obnoxious dog named Horny (Jason Paige), who’s nothing but trouble.

Ian (Scott Paulin), the father, is an artist and poet stuck in failure; older daughter Nora (Jennifer Erholm) is a loon; Son Loki (Brendan Bonner), a community theater star, may be a closet gay. Horny runs away – but who wouldn’t from this crazed family?

Director Martha Demson falls into the trap of playing everything to almost slapstick proportion. A quieter, more offhand interpretation in places would have made the material and the characters more palatable and served the play’s quirky humor better. The forced optimism at the play’s end doesn’t help either.

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