The sweet story of the Texas Cowgirl Cheerleader wanna-be in Debbie Does Dallas will finally return to the New York stage Oct. 29 at Off-Broadway's Jane Theatre, a production spokesperson confirmed.
The creative team includes Christine Jones (sets), Juman Malouf (costumes) and Shelly Sabel (lights.) Jennifer Cody, known as a performer (Urinetown, Suessical) and wife of Hunter Foster, will choreograph. Stephen Oremus will act as musical supervisor, according to the trade publication Theatrical Index.
The show 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 at the downtown Manhattan venue.
The commercial producers who managed to make a Broadway hit out of another Fringe show Urinetown then sought to produce a commercial Off-Broadway production of Debbie Does Dallas. Araca co-producer Michael Rego previously told Playbill On-Line (April 3) they were aiming to for the end of May at the Jane Street Theatre, but plans were postponed for the Fall.
"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. Three men will play multiple roles opposite the five actresses who will play Debbie and her four friends Lisa, Donna, Roberta and Tammy.
According to a casting notice, which cites the tentative dates of rehearsal (Sept. 4) and previews (Oct. 5), the "style of the piece is: rodeo/porno/football/circus." It further warns, "Every performer must be willing to go over the top and yet NOT BE CAMPY [sic]. The performances are big in size but they never wink at the audience."
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.'"
— by Ernio Hernandez