Thursday, November 23, 2017

Debbie Does Dallas at the Parliament House.

Debbie Does Dallas, directed by Adam McCabe, choreographed by Michelle Alagna, and with
musical direction by Tim Evanicki, takes a cult classic porn film and turns it into a tongue-in-cheek musical. For some light-hearted sassy fun, this is a show perfectly suited to play at the Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House (410 N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, Florida 32805).

The show is the coming-of-age story of an all-American small-town sweetheart named Debbie Benton (Takara Lee Anderson). She is the captain of her high-school cheerleading team, but she dreams of making it to the big time by becoming a Texas Cowgirl Cheerleader. When Debbie receives a letter telling her she has qualified for the professional squad, the only thing that stands between her and the realization of her dream is bus fare to the big city of Dallas.

Debbie enlists her teammates, Lisa (Ale Martinez), Roberta (Sarah O), Donna (Jasha Vaughn) and Tammy (Katie Ford), to get jobs after school and on weekends to help pay for her trip to Dallas. The girls form a company called Teen Services and get jobs, but they quickly realize minimum-wage jobs just don't pay enough. Luckily, Debbie's boss, Mr. Greenfelt, has an idea how the girls can raise enough money in time. Debbie tells the girls about Mr. Greenfelt's idea, and they all agree to try their hands at "little favors" performed with enthusiasm by "good girls."

If the girls "work hard for the money" through sex, sweat and tears, could they manage to raise enough money for Debbie to realize her dream and make it to Dallas? Also starring Tripp Karhh and Jonathan Speagle playing multiple roles in frantic quick-change madness, Debbie Does Dallas is a wild time at the theater.
Having never seen the cult classic film, we decided to watch the film the same evening after seeing the show. The intricate plot is followed to the letter, but the endless sex scenes are replaced by many black out scene changes and some fun musical numbers. The romp in the locker room shower was well choreographed with towels hiding the sweet bits as the actors and actresses exposed themselves to each other. All the cheer leaders did have an orgy scene that played out behind a back lit sheet that allowed the audience to imagine what the shadows implied. The funniest moment came when Debbie relents and accepts $10 cash to expose herself to her boss. He offers a bit more, and each time she goes off into her Disney style "I have a Dream" song. It was truly laugh out loud funny.
By the time you read this, Debbie will have sadly retired her pom poms. Upcoming shows at the Footlight Theater are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10 pm and 12 am.  Additionally, A T-Dance Revue Show is in the Disco on Sundays at 7 pm.

Mark Your Calendar. On December 1st - December 30th,  The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told  by Paul Rutnick and directed by Tommy Wooten will hit the Footlight stage. A stage manager, (Beth Marshall), headset and prompt book at hand, brings the house lights to half, then dark, and cues the creation of the world. Throughout the play, she’s in control of everything. In other words, she’s either God, or she thinks she is. Act One recounts the major episodes of the Old Testament, only with a twist: Instead of Adam and Eve, our lead characters are Adam (Brett McMahon)  and Steve (Jerry Jobe), and Jane (Shanel Sparr) and Mabel (Camilla Camillo), a lesbian couple with whom they decide to start civilization (procreation proves to be a provocative challenge). Act One covers the Garden of Eden, an ark, a visit with a highly rambunctious Pharaoh and finally even the Nativity. Along the way, Mabel and Adam invent God, but Jane and Steve are skeptical. This brings about the flood, during which Steve has a brief affair with a rhinoceros and invents infidelity. No longer blissful, Adam and Steve break up only to be reunited as two of the wise men at the Nativity.

Act Two jumps to modern day Manhattan. Adam and Steve are together again, and Steve is HIV positive. It’s Christmas Eve, and Jane is nine months pregnant even though she always thought of herself as the butch one. The two women want to marry and want Adam and Steve to join them in the ceremony. A wheelchair-bound, Jewish lesbian Rabbi from cable access TV arrives to officiate. The ceremony is interrupted as Jane gives birth, and Steve confides to Adam that his medication isn’t working and that he’ll probably not survive much longer. Bound by their long life together, and the miracle of birth they’ve just witnessed, the two men comfort each other even though they know their remaining time together will be short. It sounds like some existential fun for the holidays.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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