We’re Ready to Throw Nipples to the Wind

Janye Anderson as Gladine and Paula Coco as Cornelia in "Breaking It Down Old School," part of Nipples to the Wind. (Julia Gerace)

Any play including the word “nipples” in the title piques our attention, of course. And Paula Coco’s clever collection of monologues Nipples to the Wind certainly deserves a keep-’em-up gesture of adulation.

Stand-up comedian Coco, along with Dallas resident and actress Janye Anderson, performs quirky insights into 14 heroines of the Bourgeois in this two-hour play showing at the Dallas Hub Theater through February 24.

The garrulous female characters deliver a funny, spastic and uncomfortably realistic depiction of the types of colorful women that most of us Gen-Xers grew up with – our boomin’ grannies, busybody aunts and nutty, neighborly babysitters. The sensationalized yet common women explored in Nipples celebrate many of the peculiar and defining ideals of the American middle class woman: celebrity obsession, retail therapy, gossip, fervent accessorizing and family matters.

Although, the 10 funny vignettes are performed by women and ultimately about women, the themes are accessible to men and women across the social spectrum. And if, at times, the material does become slightly less relatable, the acting is so captivating and outrageous that the entertainment value remains elevated to a degree that keeps the audience engaged and smiling.

Coco and Anderson never falter with their perfected dialects, drawls, mannerisms, dance moves and costume choices. The material obviously marinated in the hearts and souls of these two whimsical women for quite a long time and the outcome is a witty and heartfelt stage satire.

What could possibly serve as tiny hiatuses from the hilarity, the breaks between each scene are quite the opposite -- comical tunes by sassy songstress Kacey Jones accompany the swift set and costume changes to keep the laughter rolling.

The Dallas Hub Theater is a complimentary stage for Nipples to the Wind. Home of the Shane-Arts Theater Company and DFW’s burgeoning fringe festival, the “Hub” is a cozy and inspiring non-profit venue that proudly nurtures and promotes fresh live theater productions. -- Krissi Reeves

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