Shamu could save your soul, at least according to rehab center director Alvin Bigsby, a key character in the comedy "Whales, Save Us!" The washed-up hippie preaches the idea of "consciousness," and he believes that whales are the most conscious creatures on the planet.

Shamu could save your soul, at least according to rehab center director Alvin Bigsby, a key character in the comedy "Whales, Save Us!" The washed-up hippie preaches the idea of "consciousness," and he believes that whales are the most conscious creatures on the planet.

Does that seem wacky to you?

"It doesn't make sense to anyone but him," explained Mary-Aileen St. Cyr, the director of Raconteur Theatre Company's production of the play. "Deep down he really wants to help people, but he's lost his way."

In "Whales," an odd bunch in need of rehabilitation visit Bigsby's retreat near the whale-abundant waters of British Columbia. There's bitter ex-rodeo queen Zuzu, overly apologetic Del and Esme, a former child star - think Lindsay Lohan - who has become a drug addict. But not everyone is there for the reasons we think.

"When you look at what those characters are suffering from, that's on the surface," St. Cyr said. "They're really lonely, and they make these terrible choices because they're lonely."

The play is presented like a Greek tragedy, with a chorus that comments on the plot.

"In my conversation with the playwright [Elizabeth Leavitt], she said she specifically chose the format of a Greek tragedy because she wanted the stakes to be high. She wanted big drama. She says, 'No one does overdramatic like the Greeks.'"

Unlike the stately choruses of yore, Leavitt's is a group of grown-up Girl Scouts.

"The playwright chose Girl Scouts because she wanted a group that would seem visually very oddly moral. There's an idea everyone has in their heads of who Girl Scouts are, and everyone likes Girl Scouts," St. Cyr said. "All of these characters are pretending to be someone they aren't, except for the Girl Scouts."

The strange combination of whales, a hippie and Girl Scouts makes for a whimsical, surprising comedy.

"It's so odd. The whole thing is very, very odd," St. Cyr said.