Spotlight: Dames at Sea

Jon Mikkelson

This Gaydar Productions show starts out kind of surreal and then proceeds to remove the conditional "kind of." It's an all-male send-up of an early '60s musical that was itself a spoof of Depression-era feel-good movies. Gregg Peterson is Mona Kent, a smoky-voiced diva and the chronic underminer of Doug Anderson's Ruby, who arrives from Utah with little more than a pair of tap shoes and an innocent smile. Anderson gets numerous laughs throughout the night with his take on the naïve, squeaky-clean heroine, along with his starry-eyed adoration for Dick (Jonathan Knick), a sailor who happens to have a sheaf of original songs stuffed down the front of his pants. When their Broadway musical is shut down by the wrecking ball, the company, naturally, decides to perform on the deck of a battleship, where Ruby will eventually save the day and become a star. The tunes are quite good, with the Paul Brekke-led "Good Times Are Here to Stay" standing out, and the choreography and singing are tight and capable if not extraordinary. The music, provided by a single piano, could have used more color. Nonetheless, this is a show that mixes up the pace, nimbly avoids slow patches, and maintains a welcome sense of fun. Amid a sea of red, white, and blue, there's plenty of subversive wit going on, and the layers of satire and innuendo spark laughs from left field while never playing it straight.

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