Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical
Book by Susan L. Schwartz
Music by Andrew Sherman
Additional Music and Lyrics by Tom Kitt and Jonathan Callicutt
Directed by Adam McCabe
Choreographed by Michelle Alagna
Starring Takara Anderson
Footlights Theater, Orlando FL
The Footlights Theater continues to up its game; tonight we have both a proper overture to this musical and a good tap sequence in the middle. Based on a porn film so notorious it has its own Wiki article, DDD is now a rather risqué musical with dance numbers substituting for the explicit sex. It’s also one of the most heteronormative shows ever produced at the Footlights. There’s plenty of hetro sex, and only a smidgen of the lavender loves we’ve come to expect. Is there a plot? Why yes! That’s why the original movie was so good: they have stage worthy motivation. Debby leads the cheerleading squad at Anonymous High, and she been accepted into the Texas Cowgirls. She just needs to raise some money for bus fair, and her cheerleading team pitches in. Minimum wage jobs aren’t getting the lawnmowed, but the team has extra special charms men are willing to pay for. Tidying up gets replaced with going down, and soon there’s enough money for everyone to go to Dallas. Is there a moral? Yes: selling your body can bring in big bucks, and having a soul is overrated.
Despite limited backstage and not much wing space, this little show pulls off numerous set changes, some decent singing, and sticks close to the original story line. Ms. Anderson’s Debby faces a difficult moral choice, seeks out an exploitive career, and is generally completely sympathetic. The guys all take on multiple roles: Kyle Stone focuses on the creepy middle-aged guy willing to pay for his thrills, Johnathan Spiegel aces the dumb jock roll, and Tripp Karrh works best with a fright wig and a sleazy backstory. On the female supporting side Katie Ford remains sort of virginal as she seeks out higher political office while Sarah Orbrock acts all clean-cut while acting all nasty in secret. Ale Martinez lost her voice tonight, so the sound guy read her lines, and that substitution was hysterical. There were some good songs here, and closer “It Only Cost Me My Soul” almost brought a tear to my eye. The P-House bar scene might be fading, but the shows in the intimate little space keep getting better. And parking is easy as well. No reason for you not to go visit this out of the way show room.
For more information on shows at the Footlights Theater, please visit http://www.parliamenthouse.com/footlight-theatre/