Monday, March 11, 2013

Theater Review: The Doyle & Debbie Show

By Philip Doyle

As the usher decked out in tight jeans and country duds, led me to my seat, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of The Doyle & Debbie Show. Aside from my unadulterated love of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, country music is not my cup of moonshine. So I am pleased as punch to let y’all know that The Doyle & Debbie Show is a hilarious, toe-tappin’, heck of a good time. 

Sheltered under the glass arches of the Denver Center for Performing Arts, the Garner Galleria Theatre is presenting the knee slapping, original sensation that is The Doyle & Debbie Show.

Doyle Mayfield is a former country star trying to get his career going again. This time he has a new singing partner, Debbie, who follows in a long line of previous Debbies. Anxious to bring some attention to his long, and possibly washed-up career, Doyle brings some extra baggage with him that when opened is pretty damn funny.

The D&D Show playfully lampoons country music, while respectfully tipping its hat to classic Nashville. Songs like “Barefoot and Pregnant” and “Stock Car Love” may get some folk’s necks redder than usual, but rest assured that the joy of this show is that it doesn’t take itself seriously. There is magic happening on stage, and a good time is had by all.

I was particularly fond of “I Ain’t No Homo (But Man You Sure Look Good to Me)”, that had me laughing, and admiring the proficient, well paced delivery of material. 

The brilliance of the show shines through its creator, the hilarious Bruce Arntson, who plays Doyle. Arnston brings together a mastery of comic delivery and a staccato singing prowess, the result of which is rather sublime. Denver audiences should relish in the chance to witness his performance, that is a delightful and sincere homage to the country genre.

Debbie is played by Jennifer Blood, and throws down a performance that is enduring in its demure, dimples for days, sweetness, coupled with a raucous, bouncing, sensuality.  

Matthew Carlton plays Buddy, who is one of those actors who can exude funny from every pore. In fact, all three actors can simply stand there and not say a word, and have the audience giggling and wanting more.

Now just as a heads-up to true-blue fans of country music, The Doyle & Debbie Show is a sharp, toe-tapping parody. It does not tread softly in its mockery of country music, but rather two-steps boldly into a satirical world of country greatness. So you best bring your sense of humor and expect a grand ol’ time.

The Doyle & Debbie Show

Plays through July 14th at

The Garner Galleria Theatre