The Night of the Iguana.
As if we need further evi-
dence that Rene Moreno is
Dallas' best director, we
have this remarkable pro-
duction as Exhibit A, pictured
right. Tennessee Williams'
last great play is set in tropi-
cal Acapulco, so most pro-
ductions emphasize its
steam sexuality. But Moreno
— at least in Act 1 — discov-
ers Williams' biting humor,
staging the action with the
pacing of a farce. He saves
the sultry stuff for Act 2, allowing the melodrama to
sneak up on it.
Set at a run-down motel in the off-season, it fea-
tures a hurricane, a failed clergyman (Ashley Wood,
appropriately manic) tied to a hammock, a slutty
proprietress (Cindee Mayfield, who could unleash a
whole new career as a bad girl) and an underaged
nymphomaniac. Hey, it is Williams.
It clicks along so spritely, with the cast (including
Elizabeth Van Winkle, and Terry Vandivort delivering
his best performance in years) capturing the exag-
gerated Southern melody or Tennessee's over-
wrought dialogue, you get easily lost. Imbuing a
classic with fresh energy is one fine feat.
Contemporary Theatre of Dallas. Through Mar. 4.
Pluck the Day. It's been almost 10 years since
Second Thought Theatre produced Pluck the Day, a
comedy about quirky Texans set entirely on a ram-
shackled porch littered with beer cans and forgotten
dreams. The original was a longish two-acter about
The revisions by STT's co-artistic director,
Steven Walters, of his rambling play tighten a lot of
the action, but the major accomplishment is one that
the calendar gets the most credit for: The maturing
of the characters. Now they are in their 30s, when
the malaise of realizing your best years were more
than a decade back really sets in.
The men at the center are an unusual trio, de-
spite their similar upbringings. Duck (Clay Yokum) is
a dumb, married redneck and proud of it; Fred (Mike
Shrader) is his bachelor counterpart, about to pop
the question; and Bill (Chris LaBove) the smart gay
one who has hung around this one-stoplight town
for far too long. But just how gay is Bill?
The plot revolved around a did-they-or-didn't-they
plot you might have caught on Three's Company
but there's a sweetness to it all and a full share of
laughs, especially when Duck — who wouldn't
know a metrosexual if he gay-bashed him — won-
ders why Bill isn't attracted to him. Been there.
Second Thought Theatre. Through Feb. 26.
Bring It On: The Musical. Talk about the power
of the pyramid: Cheerleading onstage kicks ass.
Oh, say what you will about it being a cheesy faux-
sport practiced by mean girls (there's a lot of that
here, no question) — when you see a man in a
tank-top and shorts do a running back-flip across
the stage, it's hard not to fall in love.
Or at least in serious, serious like, which is the re-
action you'll have to Bring It On, pictured left. While
based on the teen rom-com, the touring production
now at Fair Park creates its own story about Camp-
bell (Taylor Louderman), a flighty senior cheer god-
dess and team captain gerrymandered into an inner
city school district. In predictable fashion, she rallies
the hip-hop girls (including one sassy black trans,
given an overdose of spunk by Gregory Haney) into
turning their dance crew into a cheer squad.
Like Legally Blonde, or even Hairspray, it's a
sunny, silly story about the redemption of a teen
queen through the power of (fill in the blank: Law,
cheerleading, dancing). But like Wicked, it's also un-
derhandedly smart, with a catchy, contemporary
score and clever lyrics.
The tour hasn't made it to Broadway; it probably
doesn't need to go there. New York audiences prob-
ably imagine themselves too sophisticated to appre-
ciate a musical about cheering; here in the
hinterlands, we're not ashamed to stand up and rah-
rah at impressive displays of athleticism that come
with singing as well. Go, team!
Dallas Summer Musicals. Through Feb. 26.
The Secret Life of Girls. Thank God I don't
have kids — and am not one anymore. Dallas Chil-
dren's Theater tackles teen bullying in its studio pro-
duction, but not in a way you might expect. There
are no hate crimes here, nor even an obvious hero
or villain, just continually readjusting cliques among
teen girls. It's the darker side of Bring It On, where
sniping doesn't warrant a "snap!" but leads to cutting
and bulimia. Though gay issues are not directly ad-
dressed, it's an instructive and shockingly timely
show (followed by a therapist-led talk-back) that all
families can walk away from with new insights into
how hard it can be to grow up.
Dallas Children's Theater. Through Feb. 26. Suit-
able for teens and adults.
— Arnold Wayne Jones
SLEEP IN SUNDAY
On the last Sunday of
each month, there is
no service. Instead,
we plan a "fun for the
whole family" event
the last weekend of
each month. Sleep in!
Bible Study 9:30am
807 Fletcher in Dallas
off I-30 & Haskell
Bible Study Fellowship 7:00pm
2140 Medical District Drive
at the Alexan Southwestern
Dawn "Pastor D" Allred, 214-929-3309
dawn @whosoeverdallas org
THE BODY OF A
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Wright, John. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 40, Ed. 1 Friday, February 17, 2012. Dallas, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239207/. Accessed September 18, 2014.