The kindness of strangers

Southern Discomfort

By Alan Friedman
Directed by Alan Thornton
Triad Theatre
Non-union production (closed)
Review by Doug DeVita

Satire, it has been said, is what closes on Saturday night. And that is the good satire, the kind with the witty bite that stings. Soft, gentle satire closes earlier.

Southern Discomfort, an Atlanta-based musical satire troupe, is "dedicated to the proposition that not everyone is created equal, but everyone deserves to be equally offended." The ensemble of performers, writers and musicians poke fun at politics, current events, corporate America and Southern living with "its own brand of unique song parodies that leave nobody unscathed." But the material in Southern Discomfort is so gentle as to be genteel æ dated topical references, less than original observations and awkward lyrics forced into unbending musical meters are made bearable only by the charming energy of the hard-working troupe. The whole enterprise induced a feeling of sleepy relaxation akin to sitting on a front porch on a lazy Sunday afternoon with a group of genial relatives "struggling like hell to be moderately amusing." (Which, incidentally, is the name of their latest CD.)

In the arena of musical satire, however, moderately amusing just isn't enough. C'mon guys, take a clue from your name, not from your heritage of mannered hospitality. If you really want to offend, rip those white gloves off and get down and dirty. Let us know what you really think. Make us laugh. And then kick us in the teeth.

(Featuring Jeffrey Bigger, Alan Friedman, Nancy Riggs, Randy Roberson, Beth Robinette, Jay Rollins, Michelle Schroeder, Alan Thornton, Terri Thornton,and Leslie Truman. Musical Accompanist: Frank Steele. Additional material by Terri Thornton, Nancy Riggs, Alan Thornton, Leslie Truman, David Ries, and Janis Gordon.)

Box Score:

Writing: 1
Directing: 1
Performance: 2
Sets: N/A
Costumes: 1
Lighting/Sound: 1

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Copyright 2001 Doug DeVita