Bizarro World

Lesbian bull-riders, menopausal mamas and a not-so-sexy Stanley Kowalski—ah, the stuff of theater

The best performance of all comes from Russell DeGrazier as Mitch, Stanley's bachelor poker buddy who becomes briefly entranced by Blanche's breathy glamour, until Stanley reveals some of her sordid secrets and spoils the relationship. Mitch's third-act visit to Blanche builds to a moment more explosive and sexually charged than the Stanley-Blanche scene.

Its Mitch, Blanche and Stella are the hottest sparks of Contemporary's Streetcar. What keeps it from catching fire is a less-than-stellar Stanley.

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Menopause the Musical? They shouldn't stop at menopausing it. They should euthanize the thing and bury it in a landfill.

It's easy to get a big bang out of Uptown Players' candy-sweet gay musical Zanna, Don't!
Mike Morgan
It's easy to get a big bang out of Uptown Players' candy-sweet gay musical Zanna, Don't!

Details

Zanna, Don't! continues through September 7 at Uptown Players. Call 214-219-2718.

A Streetcar Named Desire continues through August 31 at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas. Call 214-828-0094.

Menopause the Musical continues through September 28 at the Eisemann Center Countrywide Theatre, Richardson. Call 972-744-4650.

But "crap sells," says a Dallas actress who toured in the show for several months. And sadly, she's right. The estro-generic musical revue has played in hundreds of productions since its 2001 Orlando premiere. It is currently selling its hokey dialogue and dumb song parodies about the "change" to big crowds in an extended run starring Dallas actresses Linda Leonard, Jill Hall and Yolanda Williams, plus out-of-town import Lisa Fox, at Richardson's Eisemann Center Countrywide Theatre.

From the same producers who brought Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical to town (more proof of the "crap sells" strategy), Menopause the Musical caters to women with a certain craving for low comedy.

Bathroom humor abounds in Jeannie Linders' script, with gag after gag about menopausal mamas having to pee every 15 minutes. That and other myths regarding female biology—including the notion that menopause kills sex drive—should incite women to shake their fists in protest. But no, the opening night audience at the Eisemann clapped like mad. Dozens of gals clambered up to the stage at the finale to join in an awkward "menopause kick line."

Insulting to brain and uterus, the show sings of hot flashes and chocolate consumption. The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" is crooned to a vibrator.

The production directed by Michael Larsen is a hodgepodge of sloppy work. At the performance reviewed, the sound levels were ear-splitting. Women over 40 and 50 may be forgetful, prone to perspiration and a mite cranky, but we are not deaf.

We're not stupid either. And this show reduces a normal stage of a woman's life to 90 minutes of dirty jokes. Imagine Enlarged Prostate the Musical starring four middle-aged men singing about limp wieners and hemorrhoids.

Menopause the Musical is bloody awful.

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