HOUSTON -- Take This Show and Shove It. No, that's not a polite way of cursing out a director. It's the title of a new musical world premiering in Houston March 10 in an open-ended run at The Great Caruso, a restaurant with a theater in it (meaning you don't have to buy dinner if you don't want to). Casting is to be announced imminently.
Written by Phillip Oesterman, Bob Durkin and Taylor Poarch, Take This Show and Shove It follows an irreverent country-western trio, two hot-and-sassy daughters and their red-hot momma, along with her outrageous drag-queen son, as they make all sorts of mischief while pursuing their dreams. Accompanied by a honky-tonk band, the cast of caricatures croons songs by the likes of Dolly Parton, Clint Black, Merle Haggard, and Tammy Wynette, in a score of standards and obscurities.
Take This Show and Shove It is being presented by Stevie Phillips, who knows a thing or two about twang, what with producing, among others, the Broadway and national touring companies of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Oesterman (who is also co-director and co-choreographer with Durkin) has a similar feel for down-home theatrics, having been a longtime associate of Houston's favorite son, Tommy Tune, on such projects as The Will Rogers Follies and the upcoming stage adaptation of Easter Parade, the 1948 movie musical that starred Fred Astaire and Judy Garland.
Looking toward New York, the creators of Take This Show and Shove It hope audiences won't take the musical at its word. Take This Show and Shove It premieres March 10 at The Great Caruso in Houston in an open-ended run. For tickets, $25 (dinner prices range from $8 - $13 per entrees), call 1 (713) 780-4900.
-- By Peter Szatmary