Crude bathroom references — "I've got a wicked fudge monkey in the on-deck circle" — abound. The whole endeavor reeks of attempts to comment on political correctness by going overboard with offensive quips. But it all comes off as overtly, wincingly racist; four white guys taking digs at Jews, Puerto Ricans and Rastafarians.

There are way wiser ways than this to spoof old Wizzle the Shakespizzle.


Long-lost twins also are a plot twist in Joe Orton's 1967 farce What the Butler Saw. There's no butler in the play, directed by Jim Covault at Fort Worth's Stage West. There are: five people who strip to their underwear; one character (played by Dana Schultes) required to scream like a stuck pig every time she sees a nearly naked man; two men (Garret Storms, Dwight Greene) who put on women's clothes; a character (played by Stage West founder Jerry Russell) who looks like the old man in the movie Up; and a bronze replica of Winston Churchill's penis.

Keeping their hands in: M. Denise Lee, Megan Kelly Bates, James Chandler and their furry, foulmouthed puppets in Theatre Too's local premiere of Avenue Q.
Jeffrey Schmidt
Keeping their hands in: M. Denise Lee, Megan Kelly Bates, James Chandler and their furry, foulmouthed puppets in Theatre Too's local premiere of Avenue Q.

Details

Avenue Q

Through July 29 at Theatre Too in The Quadrangle. Call 214-871-3300.

Bomb-itty of Errors

Through July 22 at Second Thought Theatre at Kalita Humphreys Theater. Call 866-811-4111.

What the Butler Saw

Through August 5 at Stage West, Fort Worth. Call 817-784-9378.

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Orton's play, done right, is a brilliant and wicked send-up of dumb British sex farces, psychiatry and 1960s politics. As with Noises Off, it's only funny if its entrances, exits, dropped pants, screams, ass-grabs and slamming doors are timed to the red-hot second.

At Stage West, the production, like Churchill's penis, is unable to rise to the occasion.

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