HOUSTON – No "Victim Update" here. Instead, there will be "One Last Bop." These are two of the songs from Eating Raoul the 1992 musical adaptation of the 1982 cult movie. The stage version, receiving its Southwest premiere at Theater LaB in Houston, was supposed to have closed May 24, having opened April 15. But the production has been so well-received for its sincere perversity that it has been extended one more week, through May 31. From cast to director to design teams, all participants involved have indeed followed the wry advice of one of the show's more demanding secondary characters, Donna the Dominatrix, who sings out, "You Gotta Take Pains." Book by Paul Bartel (who also co-wrote, directed, and co-starred in the movie), music by Jed Feuer and lyrics by Boyd Graham, the campy, vampy show is about Paul and Mary Bland, whose adventures are anything but bland. After Mary is accosted by a swinger who lives upstairs and Paul accidentally kills him by wielding a frying pan to the noggin, the asexual Blands have a brainstorm about how to raise the money necessary to open up a longed-for cafe: lure perverts into their apartment, bop them dead on the head and rob them. Tax-free community service, in other words. All goes according to plan until Raoul, the super, discovers their ruse; a would-be nightclub singer of "salsa egotistica," Raoul has his own designs on their crimes, offering to dispose of the corpses via a dog food factory, for instance. The "mucho macho man" also tempts Mary about other bodily functions. The title more than hints at what ultimately becomes of the super, who's a bit too scheming for the Blands.
Eating Raoul now concludes at Theater LaB in Houston May 31. For tickets, $18, call (713) 868-7516
By Peter Szatmary