“Debbie Does Dallas” – Nearly Naked Theatre

This review aired on KBAQ January 12, 2015



Nearly Naked Theatre, The Hardes Theatre at Phoenix Theatre

Phoenix, AZ

The wacky “Debbie Does Dallas” is set somewhere in a middle American small town and in this unsophisticated and backward burg, high school cheerleader Debbie Benton has a simple aspiration.  She wants to be a Texas Cowgirl Cheerleader.  Achieving her simplistic dream creates a laugh riot stage musical version of the popular film adapted by Ericka Schmidt with bad but zany musical parodies by Andrew Sherman.

The writers wisely aim low using every bad joke and every bizarrely stupid thought of the superficially dumb cheerleading squad to create a zany but very adult joke fest that will tickle funny bones unless you are a prude and can’t enjoy offensive slams with lots of wild bad words.  I had a ball as I relaxed into the mindless stupidity.

The Nearly Naked Theatre production is a lambastingly off-center, fast paced delight that takes full advantage of the script’s bizarre craziness and uses every hilarious double-entendre crafted by the sharp-witted writers.  Add director Damon Dering’s smashing production because Dering knows how to make the show’s bizarre craziness to zing with soaring success.

On opening night a capacity audience greeted the zaniness with delight as they laughed wildly.  There’s not much more to say about the show without giving away precious comic moments and laugh delights that must be witnessed and enjoyed.

The show has clever scenery that is constantly shifting as it opens and closes to move the audience swiftly from locale to locale and the director even finds clever staging bits as the scenery moves that add fun to the show.

Most importantly Dering has gathered a fine cast that understands the musical’s zany stupidity perfectly and is able to make it so amusing.  Raven Woessner brings a glazed look, plenty of dumb smarts, and pleasant vocals to her finely chiseled Debbie.  The four other cheerleaders – Brandi Bigley’s Lisa shakes, rocks, and rolls, Anna Katen’s Roberta uses her short stature and blazing red hair ribbons to her advantage, Hillary Low’s Donna lends a stately but artificial stature, and Genesis Cuen’s Tammy lets her jiving pony tails establish her character as each actress makes their own wildly crazy but very unique moments.  Three men, Cole Brackney, Jason Steffan, and Jimmy Asimenios, play a variety of roles with impudent idiocy.

If you are looking for a crazy, wacky, silly, but hysterically amusing camp extravaganza, you can’t go wrong with “Debbie Does Dallas” that continues through January 31.  For tickets, call the Phoenix Theatre box office at 602-254-2151.

Grade: A

One Response to ““Debbie Does Dallas” – Nearly Naked Theatre”

  1. NAOMA said:

    Jan 22, 15 at 12:31

    I go to Nearly Naked for every show. Damon puts on a great evening of
    entertainment every time and I’ve never been disappointed. I always leave the theater laughing.