Whether it's the chill of a North Texan December, or the steam heat of a Fort Worth summer, it's always the season for comedy in the madcap vein of The Explorers Club. And no local theater feels more strongly about the welcome need for humor at any time of the year than Stage West, which is mounting this production in tandem with the WaterTower Theatre.

The Explorers Club comes to us from the Tony-nominated writer, Nell Benjamin, who already tickled our funny bones by being one of the creators of Legally Blonde. Benjamin has set Explorers Club in late 19th-century London where all sorts of problems beset the organization. First and foremost: It has a woefully incompetent bartender. Complicating matters further in that chauvenistic society is that it dares to admit a woman. No matter that the woman in question has everything going for her, starting with a brilliant mind, has already laid claim to a Lost City, and she happens to be real easy on the eyes. At stake with her admission to the Club is nothing less than the foundational core of the British Empire. A decision of that magnitude clearly demands a libation of some substance and competently made -- a real challenge given the bartender-challenged Club.

There's a bit of everything (one local theater critic found allusions to Gilbert & Sullivan and Monty Python) in this zanily fun production -- from bonkers science, short-tempered Irishmen, a deadly coil of snakes, and the casual fly-by of an airship.

Details: The Explorers Club, through January 4 (no shows, Dec. 25 nor Jan. 1). At Stage West Theatre,821-23 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth. Box office and more information: 817-784-9378; www.stagewest.org