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Texas politics come to blows

Local performing group pens snotty, song-filled satire

The Denton Performance Lab will premiere an original one-act play this weekend. The Tissue Issue: A Musical Satire is a critical yet humorous look the state of politics in Texas and the recent abortion battle in the Legislature, the director said.

The allegory begins when a huge volcano eruption releases “extremophiles” from Yellowstone. These amoebae soon wake up and start causing people’s noses to grow in gross ways, spurring conflict over existential questions about God, evolution and beauty.

“It looks at the issue surrounding abortion from the outside,” director Christopher David Taylor said. “It comes down to where we want to draw the line about where the government can control our lives and our bodies.”

Taylor explains how characters — some played by actors, others played by puppets — soon find themselves divided amongst “pro-blows” and “no-blows.”

“We’re trying to look at the issue without making it a big discussion about uteruses and dead babies, in the spirit of reasoned discourse,” the director said.

He added that the play pulls from Wendy Davis, David Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry — who is played by a giant orange puppet.

The group of actors auditioned at the end of June, collectively bringing in stories that caused some kind of reaction, and soon the abortion issue rose to the top.

Despite the philosophical underpinnings, Taylor stressed the fun atmosphere and pace of the musical play, which will be staged this weekend in three venues: a cafe, a performance space and a bar.

“We have puppets, shadow puppets, music and dance. It’s one of those pieces that’s short — 40 minutes — [and] doesn’t take itself too seriously,” Taylor said. “We want people to walk away saying ‘That was interesting and fun.’

“People can go see theater and walk around and smoke and have a beer, taking it away from that rareified atmosphere. It’s definitely populist in that sense.”

— George Joseph

THE TISSUE ISSUE: A MUSICAL SATIRE

What: Denton Performance Lab presents a one-act musical comedy about Texas politics, with music by Taylor Reed, Stanton Brasher and Christopher David Taylor.

When and where:

  • 10 p.m. Friday at Banter Bistro, 218 W. Oak St.
  • 8 p.m. Saturday at Green Space Arts Collective, 529 Malone St.
  • 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Abbey Underground, 100 W. Walnut St.

Details: Admission is pay-what-you-can.

On the Web: http://dentonperformancelab.org