All His Children

A Number of clones visits Undermain Theatre; Bootstraps kicks up laughs at the Bath House

To give some idea of the antic silliness of it all, phase No. 1 involves a tribute to WKRP in Cincinnati star Loni Anderson. Phase No. 6 is "Plagiarizing Shakespeare," No. 12 is "Putt-putt golf" and No. 20 is "The effect of a man's attention span on a woman's sanity" (this comes sometime after the "I do" stage and features man's favorite phallic substitute, the remote). Abraham Lincoln (played by Johnny Sequenzia) serves as emcee. Socrates (Brian Witkowicz) offers contraceptive advice.

In the two hours of Tab A, Slot B, some of the bits go zing and others go zoing, but it averages at least one good laugh every 90 seconds. The performers' zest for joke-mongering and their willingness to make absolute fools of themselves put over even the weaker material. Lead couple Matt Lyle and Julie Reinagel are onstage every minute, bopping and flopping over each other like old-timey slapstick comics.

This troupe has a cute knack for knowing how some words fall on the ear. "Are you smoking a tampon?" Lincoln asks Socrates (turns out it's a nicotine inhaler). They work in "spork," "muffin" and "pants" (the word no Letterman Top 10 List would be without). They toss in random references to Voltaire, Mommie Dearest and The Princess Bride. Oedipus (Jeremy Whiteker) comes onstage and says, "I've had to go into Freudian analysis. Do you get the irony there?"

Details

A Numbercontinues through June 11 at Undermain Theatre. Call 214-747-5515.

Tab A, Slot B: A New Age Sexiologyontinues through May 28 at Bath House Cultural Center. Call 972-365-2839.

Slide Tab A into Slot B and out comes the funny. Go see it.

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