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Lucky Guy

Posted on

Joan Marcus

Lucky Guy

type:
Stage
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
05/19/11
performer:
Leslie Jordan, Varla Jean Merman
director:
Willard Beckham
author:
Willard Beckham

We gave it a C

Calling Lucky Guy a cowboy campfest simply doesn’t capture the full extent of the country & western musical-comedy craziness on stage at Off Broadway’s Little Shubert Theatre. There’s a quartet of tight-suited, well-sculpted, high-stepping buckaroos who sing the praises of Nashville through a haze of dry ice (because when you think about Music City you think, of course, of mist and fog); Will & Grace‘s five-foot-nothing Leslie Jordan — who was probably cast simply because he’s at least a head shorter than everyone on stage — swishing around in a salmon-colored leisure suit as a used-car salesman named (wait for it) Big Al; and a hunky Oklahoma farm boy named Billy Ray Jackson (Kyle Dean Massey) who taps his troubles away alongside four scantily clad American Indians in full feathered headgear with knee-high fringed moccasins.

And that’s before Varla Jean Merman (or Jeffrey Roberson, as he is known out of drag) arrives as Miss Jeannie Jeannine, a Wynonna Judd-esque country diva whose ego is exceeded only by the height of her hair, singing lines like ”There’s always a hitch in a trailer-park romance.” A.C. Ciulla (Footloose) provides the incredibly acrobatic choreography; Willard Beckham is responsible for the direction, book, music, and lyrics. The songs — mostly country pastiche — are agreeable, even sometimes pleasant; as for the lyrics…I’m convinced Beckham created the wig-dresser character Chicky (Jenn Colella, working a Dolly Parton in Steel Magnolias ‘do) just so he could fill a song with nothing but poultry puns. Fowl play indeed. C

(Tickets: Telecharge.com or 800-432-7250)