Regional Reviews: Albuquerque/Santa Fe
Bewitched, Bothered, and Belittled
Perhaps the most unique company in the Albuquerque Theatre Community is The Dolls. This company is a true melting pot of drag queens, playwrights, and talented actors whom Albuquerque is blessed to have. Seldom seen anywhere but the Castro or the Village, this company goes costal and combines the rough rowdy parts of a drag show with the traditional ceremony of a play. Audiences should expect to be thrilled, tantalized, and perhaps even aroused throughout this new production of Bewitched, Bothered, and Belittled by Kenneth Ansloan.
The show delivers perfectly on its alliterative title, covering all three Bs beautifully. Based in part on the 1960s and '70s TV show "Bewitched," it executes well on the corny witchcraft necessary to pull off a parody. With revolving doors, drag queen bunnies, and a sprinkling of male enhancement, the magic abounds. As you might imagine, audiences should prepare to be bewildered. It wouldn't be a Dolls show if they didn't have a few fake phalluses on stage, of various sizes and abilities.
But mixed in with all this bewilderment is some fantastic writing and acting. The entire play is set in the context of a college course on sitcoms and as the professor, played by Joel Miller, reminds us, things weren't so glam for women back then. Woman of that age, and many prior, were often belittled. Mr. Ansloan does a fine job of exploring the groundbreaking nature of "Bewitched" in this production.
Although the cast is excellent all around, special remarks are deserved for Tequila Mockingbyrd, Russell Maynor, Jay Kincheloe, and Rikki Carrollall of whom really bring energy and life to this show. In particular, Ms. Tequila Mockingbyrd and Mr. Kincheloe are a delight to watch glide and gallivant around the stage. When Uncle Arthur played by Mr. Kincheloe steps on stage, the audience is in stitches, just from anticipation of his antics. The same can be said for Endora, played by Tequila, as her spells and audience interaction bring down the house.
It's exciting to see some new tricks from The Dolls, including a fully produced short film with custom animation. Finally, a company in Albuquerque that incorporates high quality images and film into a production. On opening night the set had great potential but appeared a tad rough around the edges. But part of the charm of The Dolls is that, no matter the state of the set, and even if the show were performed in a funeral parlor, the audience would still be roaring with laughter. With such a wonderful cast and a great script, everyone should be running to the UNM box office to get tickets to see this show.
Bewitched, Bothered, and Belittled, at UNM's Experimental Theatre through August 6, 2017. Showtimes are 8 pm for Fridays and Saturdays and 2 pm on Sundays. Tickets can be purchased at unmtickets.com or by calling 505-925-5858.