Coming Soon: Debbie Does Workshop in March, Then OB Eyed

News   Coming Soon: Debbie Does Workshop in March, Then OB Eyed 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 New York stage as part of the New York International Fringe Festival. The highly anticipated adaptation received mixed reviews but sold out its run at downtown Manhattan's Kraine Theatre Aug. 10-19.

The show's popularity was not lost on The Araca Group, commercial producers who managed to make another Fringe Fest hit, Urinetown, a Broadway hot ticket. Araca co-producer Michael Rego told Playbill On- Line Dec. 28 that workshops are planned in March (recently moved forward from February) for a commercial Off-Broadway production of Debbie Does Dallas, possibly as early as spring 2002.

"The play has been reconfigured substantially," Rego said (Dec. 31, 2001), "with new songs composed by Andrew Sherman, a veteran of Moonworks Ensemble. It's also been further adapted by the director, Erica Schmidt. A design team is being assembled as we speak." Rego added, Jan. 22, that the producers are "knee-deep in casting" and expect the cast to be finalized by week's end.

* Producer-adapter-star of the Kraine 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 is making 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, which featured Matthew Armstrong, Tim Beemer, Theodore Bouloukos II, Tonya Canada, Adam Chandler, Allison Du Val, Marian Heller, Renata Hinrichs, Jonathan Hyland, Bryant MacMillan, Jill Madeo, Ariel Sheldon, Ross Steves, Gary Widlund, Theresa Young and Schwartz as Debbie. The design team for the Sloe-Eyed Productions presentation included Matthew Ronay (sets), Jeff McCrum (lights) and Daphne Javitch (costumes). Sloe-Eyed got its name from an article Schwartz came across about the film, "They called one of the actresses 'slow eyed,' meaning seductively charming."

— by David Lefkowitz
and Ernio Hernandez