By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Over cozy dates at out-of-the-way cafes and at-home movie nights, Tom and Helen fall in love. When Carter and Jeannie find out the details of Tom's new relationship, they get ugly, calling Helen a "beast" and worse. The relationship seems doomed by peer pressure and by Tom's own insecurities; he admits he's a wuss. His and Helen's last date, a day at the beach, turns out to be no day at the beach.
Directed by DTC's artistic head honcho, Kevin Moriarty, Fat Pig is performed in the Wyly's minuscule sixth-floor studio space. Sit on the front row (as I did opening night) and you'll have to shift positions to stay clear of the actors. The cast here is fine. Adair, who plays leads in every major theater in Dallas and Fort Worth (and directed the aforementioned Talk Radio), makes a charming, weak-willed Tom. Walters, also starring in another "Beauty Play," The Shape of Things, is explosively cretinous as Carter. Aleisha Force does a snappish, Laura Linney-like turn as Jeannie.
And DTC company member Vela, who played Helen a few years ago at Kitchen Dog Theater, once again pours her big, beautiful self into a role that requires almost too much baring of skin and raw emotion from an actress. She's a different Helen this time, maybe a touch less sexy, less ravenous in the love scenes. Costumer Ric Dreumont Leal puts her in garish colors and ghastly polyester dresses too, which don't flatter voluptuous curves. (At Kitchen Dog, as I recall, her Helen wore pretty lingerie in the bedroom scene; here she's in unsexy flannel leggings and an ugly muumuu top.)
subUrbia continues through April 10 at The Green Zone. Call 877-238-5596.
Fat Pig continues in repertory with two other “Beauty Plays” through May 23 at the Wyly Theatre. Call 214-880-0202.
Some in the audience growled in disgust when Adair rolled on top of Vela and kissed her passionately. Anorexic souls.