Little Footsteps Rover Dramawerks stages Ted Tally's 1986 play about a young Manhattan couple freaking out over impending parenthood. Rick Dalton plays Ben, a snotty TV exec so full of himself there's no room for a baby in his heart or his apartment. Joslyn Justus is Joanie, the pregnant wife who whines and moans about every little thing. They fight, they make up, they fight again, they break up. Tally's script is filled with terrible attempts at humorous wordplay: "That's all watercress under the fridge." The actors are incapable of handling roles that require subtlety and depth of emotion. Even the relationship between Joanie and her mom (Terrie Justus) isn't believable--and the actresses really are mother and daughter. There's much more to the art of acting than memorizing lines and entering on cue. Much more than this company is capable of, anyway. Through August 20 at the Addison Centre Theatre Black Box Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison, 972-849-0358. Reviewed this week. (Elaine Liner)
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Pico de Gallo: The Return of the Queen Chula Cholula (Oscar Contreras) is back. Oak Cliff's most glamorous drag diva hosts an evening of new vignettes about love and marriage, while she readies herself for her own spectacular nuptials. The young Martice Enterprises acting troupe loves to pepper their topical comedy material with observations about racial, cultural and sexual issues. In a sketch about a black woman who won't let her Latino boyfriend see their baby, they lay it out there. When the mom (Rhianna Mack) unreels a long string of insults at the man (J. R. Ramirez), he doesn't understand her slang. "That's ebonics, bitch," she tells him. "You ain't the only one that speaks a foreign language." Ooh, sister, that's harsh. But really funny. The ensemble manages to overcome the lousy acoustics at the Latino Cultural Center, and they fill the stage with boundless energy. The second act gels better than the first, but the evening still stands as the brightest burst of comedy on any stage this summer. Through August 13 at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St., 214-750-7435. Reviewed July 28. (E.L.)