Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical!

By on 5 August, 2016 in Art, Fun, Kate and Stephen, Music with 2 Comments

IMG_2638We love taking little quick trips out of Montgomery for bonus adventures, often heading to Birmingham for live music, a museum, or some other kind of cultural offering. But it’s safe to say that, even for us, our latest adventure was a bit of a stretch.

Stephen to Kate: “Want to drive to Birmingham to see a play based on a famous 1970s pornographic film?”

Kate to Stephen: “Um, what?”

Stephen to Kate: “Actually, it’s a musical.”

Kate to Stephen: “What’s the venue?”

Stephen to Kate: “I called to ask about our tickets, and they said we were on the list, and that it was in an antique store.”

Kate to Stephen: “Um, ok.”

Birmingham’s Theatre Downtown is, somewhat improbably, located on the second floor of a gigantic antique store on Fifth Avenue (eponymously: Fifth Avenue Antiques). We weren’t sure exactly what to expect, especially given the dicey subject matter of the musical, but we’re easygoing adults and it’s always nice to have an adventure on a Friday night.

We arrived in Birmingham early to grab dinner, wandering around a part of booming Birmingham we’d never seen before called the Lakeview District. Birmingham is so cool. We love discovering new parts of it. This place seemed like it had sprung out of nowhere, bustling with still-shiny bars and food and music. We wanted tapas at a place called Babalu, but it was completely slammed. We ended up at a place called the Sky Castle. We didn’t know it at the time, but the joint has a cool history. Mostly, we were trying to get some decent food in time to see the play.

We weren’t disappointed. That place was absolutely hopping. Families mixed with couples on dates, all in an airy and modern space. We started with a crazy good salad of heirloom tomatoes with pesto and incredibly creamy burrata. One of us had the veggie gyro, the other a veggie plate. Both were good, but the gyro was better, and the fries were great. We took a homemade fried pie (apple) to go, and it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

And then we went to the venue. As described, it’s in an antique store. But that doesn’t do it justice. It’s incredible! It’s an intimate space with stadium seats for about 50 and a very sophisticated light and sound rig. They offered wine and snacks outside on a “donate what you wish” basis, and after wandering through the stalls of antiques, we settled in to watch a musical based on a notorious pornographic film. Below are a few of the treasures we saw in the shop while browsing.

Two hours later, we left with gigantic smiles on our faces. The cast put an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm into a script that was engaging, amusing, touching and (considering the source material, especially) quite feminist. It’s an edgy production, to be sure, but those wanting to attend can be assured that there’s no nudity (though there are certainly adult themes). The performers had strong voices, working the musical elements perfectly into a tight script. Staging was delightful, too – the small cast managed many quick costume changes. The actors portraying the male characters were particularly active, doing double or even triple duty as the script demanded.

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The set

We’d love to go back to see other productions in this space. And it got us thinking a little bit about what the future of downtown Montgomery might look like. Here we had a small and quirky idea – a theater inside an antique mall – that sounded odd but was executed brilliantly. It made us hopeful that as we think about the possibilities for our buildings downtown, we can be imaginative about their possibilities.

Do yourself a favor and go see this enchanting production if you’re able. It only runs through August 13, and the price per laugh is pretty darned good.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with two cats, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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  1. Sara J. says:

    Thanks for checking out our little show!

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