Monday, 14 February 2005

Debbie Does Dallas-The Musical, Feb 14, 2005

Debbie Does Dallas -The Musical

Adapted by Erica Schmidt, music by Andrew Sherman, conceived by Susan L. Schwarz 
Three Amigos Productions

Athenaeum Theatre 1, Melbourne, from February 14, 2005

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

One could not describe Debbie Does Dallas - The Musical as a critique of the politics of pornography or sexuality.

In fact, it straddles (pardon the innuendo) soft-core porn and sketch comedy with a sprinkling of teen television soap opera tossed in.

The show, directed by Peter Ross, was adapted by American, Erica Schmidt, from the actual old an d infamous porn movie of the same name.

The sexual antics in the stage show - we presume, not having seen the original - far less lurid but perhaps almost as titillating to some audience members.

The concept fits in with the recent surge of sexual lifestyle parodies that include Menopause the Musical and Orgasm the Musical as well as those two comedy shows about how babies kill the sex lives of mums and dads.

Debbie Does Dallas is entertaining and boasts a very talented and versatile cast of eight singer-dancers. The three men and five women relish the raunchiness of this over-the-top parody of dim-witted cheer leaders and thick-headed footballers.

Debbie, played with zest by Lisa Adam, a high school cheer squad captain, must raise the cash to finance her trip to join the prestigious Dallas Cowboys cheer squad.

With her four pals, Lisa (Zoe Ventoura) Roberta, (Beck Corley) Donna (Georgina Hart) and Tammy (Emma Hawthorne) she forms "Teen Services", a company that provides, for cash, any services wanted by men. You guessed it! The men all want sex.

The choreography is raunchy and slick. The peppy pop songs get better and funnier as the show progresses.

 Debbie sings Ten Dollars Closer each time she makes another ten bucks from her sexual favours to the polite but hungry sports store owner. (David Keene)

The boys belt out I Wanna Do Debbie with its less than subtle innuendo and the girls sing Bang Bang Cheer.

The three men shift character often and effortlessly playing not only the dopey footballers but all the men who "employ" the girls for their services.

The women have fun playing an array of witless teens. Particularly strong are Adam as the ambitious and relentlessly cheerful Debbie and Ventoura as the deliciously bad and disloyal Lisa.

There are some tasteless jokes and some content that might be offensive to some, but the whole show is a bit of a light laugh.

Kate Herbert

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