There’s nothing quite like an elaborate Broadway production with exotic costumes, intricate sets and a live orchestra.
Yet sometimes, a memorable theatre experience can be found at a hidden venue with modest costumes, a mostly naked set and a CD player on stage providing the soundtrack and necessary effects.
It’s what many affectionately call “fringe.” We like to think of it as “theatre in the raw.”
And there’s nothing more raw than Audacity Theatre Lab’s production of Hello Human Female at Teatro Dallas, one of the tiniest venues you’re likely to ever visit in Dallas.
The story follows an evil scientist (Jeremy Whiteker) looking for love on the Internet. When a 37-year-old virgin (Arianna Movassagh) shows up from his ad, she falls for his Igor-like assistant, Blork (Jeff Swearingen) instead. But it’s not until she takes him home to meet dear-old Ma (Whiteker) that the stage comes alive with an uproarious creative spark.
Whiteker in a wig and velour track suit is comedy gold. He’s a man channeling Barbra Streisand channeling Mike Myer’s Linda Richman with a dash of uptight televangelist Jan Crouch thrown in for good measure. We’d be happy to come back next year for a one-“woman” show, Hello Human Shemale, starring Whiteker. We’re thinking roller-skating musical, and possibly puppets and monkeys.
Movassagh has long been one of our favorite actresses and her wide-eyed blank slate of an expression is the perfect foil to Whiteker’s zesty, over-the-top creation. She can garner laughs with simply a stare.
As for Blork, we think we have a crush on him, too. As portrayed by Swearingen, we sense a sultry hotness beneath that hunched back. But we’re kinky that way.
The play itself is consistently funny, but this is one you go to see simply to feel connected to the actors’ energy in a way that’s completely impossible in an overly produced show on a giant stage. Here, you’re close enough to smell Mother’s White Diamonds.
And that’s just the way we like it.
Now through January 23
Teatro Dallas Space
1331 Record Crossing Road, Dallas