Dawlin' and Hawt, a divertimento cooked up by Becky Allen, Amanda Hebert and Ricky Graham, recently ran at Mid-City Theatre. It was a simple comic vaudeville-style show, and the brassy duo of Allen (Dawlin') and Hebert (Hawt) again showed they have the self-confidence and poise to win over an audience.
There was no set, just two red chairs and a small black table. The actors occasionally made small costume or wig adjustments to indicate different characters. Graham contributed to material and directed but did not appear in the show.
Dawlin's monologues and short skits covered the familiar territory of Yatlandia, but much of it was fresh, and there were some hilarious surprises. The women had much to say about growing up "Catlick."
"Do you think priests ought to be allowed to get married?"
"Only if they really love each other."
On the same subject, Hawt reminisced about growing up on the West Bank. Her family was too large to send the kids to Catholic school, so they went to public school. When she and her sisters went to catechism, they were referred to as "the publics," as though they might carry the plague or be likely to steal something.
There was a good deal of only-in-New Orleans braggadocio, like how the city had culture (opera, jazz) when most of the rest of the country only had agriculture. But that cultural jingoism has grown thin. It may be funny to boast that one can get drunk, throw up in the gutter and still have friends the next day, but that's a far cry from Don Giovanni.
Much fun was had with language. Mrs. Malaprop would have been right at home. People suffered from "magnesia" of the brain and mules risk becoming "distinct" since they can't mate. There also was a nod to high culture in a short satiric tribute to Tennessee Williams with Allen in the character of "Maison Blanche DuBois."
In one sketch, the two women go to a funeral home, and when looking into the open coffin, they are horrified by how bad their friend looks. They start fixing her up — tweezing her brows, nose, ears and applying lipstick — but a voice informs them they are in the wrong parlor and beautifying a man.
The sketches, jokes and monologues all featured plenty of local color, much of it with a racy tang, and the audience clearly enjoyed the lighthearted entertainment. — DALT WONK