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Debbie Does Dallas' delivers deliberate corn in its send-up of porn

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50 align=right vspace=10 border=0>It sounds like a bad joke: What do you get if you cross a porn flick with "42nd Street?" The answer is a musical entertainment titled "Debbie Does Dallas," now at Carpenter Square Theatre.

"Debbie Does Dallas" employs that hoary plot device of the small-town girl who strives to leave home and make it in the big time. But instead of Broadway or even Hollywood as her goal, the eponymous Debbie aspires to be a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys professional football team. It's another sign of the decline of civilization.

"Debbie Does Dallas" is an adaptation (by Susan L. Schwartz, with an unremarkable score by Andrew Sherman) of the 1978 pornographic movie of the same title. In these days of R-rated films and the coarse dialogue and situations in plays by David Mamet, Eric Bogosian, Sam Shepard and Tracy Letts, "Debbie" seems quaintly ribald.

PRODUCTION PROBLEMS
The production has problems, however. It is hard to believe that any show would be overamplified in the small Arena Theatre at Stage Center, but this one is. The amplification works OK when the actors are singing, but when they are speaking, their voices boom at the audience from overhead speakers. Furthermore "? and this is a more serious concern "? the production uses a recorded, cheesily orchestrated accompaniment. One thing about it, however, the cheesy orchestration goes well with Chris Castleberry's intentionally cheesy and, at times, amusing choreography.

Director Rodney Brazil keeps the staging effectively simple, except when he puts some scenes in the extreme corners of the stage, creating poor sight lines for some members of the audience.

Shauna Hagan, Jennifer Wells, Heidi Wallace and Renee Anderson play Debbie's cheerleading compatriots. Todd Clark, Brett Young, Brandt Sterling and Ray Prewitt play various male roles, ranging from high school football players to dirty old men.

"?Larry Laneer 

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