The Scenestress dines with Danger
February 21, 2012 | Ticket Sarasota
By THE SCENESTRESS
I�ll be the first to say it: my laugh sounds like the lovechild of a hyena and a donkey. I certainly made that fact public knowledge the other week up at the Crosley Theatre.
If you haven�t heard the news, Chef Larry Barrett, the culinary history buff behind Simply Gourmet, doesn�t keep his talent locked away in the kitchen all the time. He�s also quite the thespian. He has donned his director�s hat for the first-ever theatrical reproduction of The Firesign Theatre, a cult comedy troupe that started cracking folks up with their oddball radio shows back in the �60s and �70s. Barrett even got an official nod of approval from members of the original cast!
The resulting �Dining with Danger� production is a triple threat of food, music and comedy. You bet your sweet what-have-you that I wasted no time getting a seat at one of the tables � next to Les and Pam McCurdy, would you believe it! Sarasota�s comedy royalty go way back with Barrett, so of course we were graced with several table visits from the top dog himself.
The spread, a menu replica of America�s premier fine dining joint Delmonico�s, was exquisite. I now have a recurring dream about the warm vichyssoise with its droplets of white truffle oil, and Mr. McCurdy insisted I take a second portion of apple crumble. The attentive staff all kept the merlot flowing, too. Fully stuffed, I found a seat downstairs and relaxed into Robby Rose�s sultry piano jazz.
Before the side-splitting began, cast members Keith Chrismon and Joelle Davis regaled us with song. Davis emerged in a black dress slit �up to there,� emerald elbow-length gloves and a voluptuous feather boa to match. Some may know her as the Black Diamond Burlesque�s sexy songstress Lotta Love, but she still turned me on as much as always while keeping all her clothes � except for some key accessories, which were unceremoniously flung at the stage manager.
The musical interlude over, it was time for the characters to get even deeper into character � we were looking at actors playing nuttier actors playing total wackos, you see. That �fourth wall� between play and audience became hilariously convoluted as dubious hero Nick Danger attempted to solve the mystery of a long-lost love � I think, anyway. Maybe it was the wine, or maybe it was the drugs those Firesign boys were on, but the onstage antics got downright weird. I simply swallowed the outrageous final plot twist without thinking anything of it. At that point, I was gasping for air, tears of mirth squeezing out of my eyes from the over-the-top sound effects, hysterical character voices and every single Beatles reference.
If you like your slapstick slightly psychedelic, then get a ticket right away before the final show on March 1. This kind of humor leaves you picking the corn out of your teeth, but it has its subtle moments � as well as many moments of �what the � ?� Plus, you will be mightily well-fed. �Dining with Danger� is an indulgence for the belly as well as the funny bone.
This article originally appeared in and is copyright to the Sarasota Herald Tribune. To view this article in its original source please click here: www.heraldtribune.com.
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