Araca Group Does Debbie; Eyeing OB's Jane Street Theatre in May

News   Araca Group Does Debbie; Eyeing OB's Jane Street Theatre in May It's a sweet story about a young girl who is following her dream. When she finally reaches it, her parents disapprove. So, she had to raise the money for the trip on her own. Her friends, sympathizing with their pal's plight, decide to pitch in and lend a helping hand.

It's a sweet story about a young girl who is following her dream. When she finally reaches it, her parents disapprove. So, she had to raise the money for the trip on her own. Her friends, sympathizing with their pal's plight, decide to pitch in and lend a helping hand.

The story is that of the Texas Cowgirl Cheerleader wanna-be in Debbie Does Dallas, which made its way from the curtained section of video rental stores to the stage as part of the New York International Fringe Festival. The highly anticipated adaptation received mixed reviews but sold out its run and hopes to again if The Araca Group has their way.

The commercial producers who managed to make a Broadway hit — and soon national tour — out of another Fringe show Urinetown are planning a commercial Off-Broadway production of Debbie Does Dallas at Off-Broadway's Jane Street Theatre. "Ideally, we'll be in performances by the end of May," said Araca co-producer Michael Rego.

"We took the film and took some liberties with it, in terms of adding music and dance," Rego added of adapter-director Erica Schmidt's work, "it's a much more theatrical event now as opposed to just a film on stage." When asked how they have dealt with the sex — as it is adapted from a pornographic film — he replied "We try to deal with it in a clever, surprising, satirical way; sometimes with song, sometimes with dance. That's hopefully is where most of the comedy and fun of the show comes through."

Rego explained this "more vaudevillian" mounting versus the Fringe staging is "pretty radically different, you wouldn't recognize it. It's a totally new and different animal." New songs composed by Andrew Sherman will fill the work which has scaled back its cast from 16 actors to eight. Jennifer Cody (Urinetown, Seussical, The Wild Party) choreographed. *

Producer-adapter-star of the Fringe production of DDD, Susan L. Schwartz, told Playbill On-Line that the idea for the production "came out of a discussion with a friend about how funny it would be to see a porn film being read on stage." A year later, the film-cum-stageshow made its world premiere, following some awkward research moments. Schwartz explained "I went to the video store and I couldn't find them. So, I had to go up to the guy and I said 'Hi, do you have "Debbie Does Dallas."' He smirks and I said, 'No, it's for an Off-Off-Broadway show that I'm doing' and he goes, 'Sure it is.'"

Brock Enright, a Columbia MFA graduate who came from a film and art background, directed the OOB mounting for Sloe-Eyed Productions — named for an article Schwartz came across about the film, "They called one of the actresses 'slow eyed,' meaning seductively charming."

— by Ernio Hernandez