Stagebeat

Capsule listings of current area stage shows

Charles Busch's Sleeping Beauty, set in swinging mod England, includes full-frontal nudity, transvestites, three-way orgies, LSD, rock 'n' roll, and go-go dancers. Not for the kiddies. The craziness begins with Enid Wetwhistle (Erynn Dalton), whose wild dancing and miniskirt shock fashion mogul Sebastian Lorre (Jim Gibbons) and his sidekick, the rotund Ms. Thicke (Jeff Holmes). At first, Lorre wants Enid to take a "personality suppressant." But when Lorre's treasonous sketch artist, Fauna (Jim Sweet), convinces cosmopolitan buyer Anthea (Melissa McSherry) that Fauna's designs outstrip Lorre's, Sebastian has a change of heart. Deciding that mod is in, he chooses Enid as his "it" girl. But the transformational high life makes his new protégée bail -- and Sebastian vows revenge. Fauna and Ian take a confused Enid in and rebuild her career (complete with acrobatic sex and topless photo shoots). The plot, acting, and dialogue are reminiscent of sketch comedy shows like Kids in the Hall. Gibbons' light-in-the-loafers swagger and face-scrunching snarl add comic effect. Sweet throws one-liners around with ease and maintains character throughout, whether smoking, meditating, palm reading, or discussing reincarnation. McSherry is convincing as a conceited, socialite fashion slave. Although one-dimensional, Holmes' made-up face, matronly outfit, and eternal scowl add humor. Dalton's British accent vacillates, but she makes up for it with frantic dancing. Her slow-motion acid trip is her best moment. Hilarious throughout, this show is pure fun. (In repertory with Vampire Lesbians of Sodom through December 19 at Sol Theatre Project, 1140 NE Flagler Dr., Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-6555, oltheatre.com.) -- Rachel Galvin

NOW SHOWING

Hello Dolly! centers on the prodigious skills of Yonkers matchmaker Dolly Levi (Jodi-Lynne Sylvester), for whom meddling is a career choice. Dolly interferes in everybody's life, including two disgruntled clerks who leave Yonkers to go to New York to find adventure. Brance Cornelius as one of them has a few good moments, and Tyler Fish as the other is consistently adorable as a naive young man on the town. Kerry Sensenbach seems natural as their mean-spirited employer. Danielle Tabino, as the boss' daughter, adds comic effect with her whiny voice. Jessie Alagna as Ernestina Money also has some laughs with her hard-on-the-eyes outfit and piggish decorum. But the show belongs to Sylvester, who has a series of riveting monologues, one to her late husband and one to the audience. Her voice is often too high-pitched, but overall, her songs are powerful. She fits like a glove into her character and her glamorous attire. Moreover, she enjoys herself, which translates into energy for the whole cast. (Through January 2 at the Stage Door Theatre, 8036 W. Sample Rd., Coral Springs, 954-344-7765.)

Hoagy is a "biomusical" featuring the remarkable vocal talents of Broadway chanteuse B.J. Crosby and San Francisco cabaret star Billy Philadelphia as Hoagy Carmichael. It's an amiable if insipid walk through the life and career of the songwriter turned movie actor. Philadelphia is adept at playing Carmichael, and Crosby's assured vocals light up Carmichael's hit tunes. The production features a first-rate band and inventive staging and choreography from Walter Painter but suffers from a lackluster script that avoids most of the drama in Carmichael's life. Music fans will enjoy the tunes, but those looking for real-life drama will come away disappointed. (Through November 21 at the Coconut Grove Playhouse, 3500 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove, 204-442-4000.)

 
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