What if you staged a comedy and nobody laughed?
That's what happened the opening night of "Dude True Story" now on stage at Beowulf Alley Theatre.
The audience was small - always difficult with a comedy anyway.
But those few people were just not in the mood for laughter.
Or, to put it less gently, the production didn't give the audience much reason to laugh.
The acting was shaky. Timing was off. Pacing was clumsy.
Which is a shame, because the Jimmy Dees play has some funny lines and outrageous characters in these three one-acts.
There's the English lit prof who thinks Faulkner is much easier than Hemingway. The drunk poet with a questionable knack for poetry. The legal adviser who is an aggressive puppet and the rough voice for a soft-spoken woman. The family of self-help nuts who aren't much help to anyone.
As a writer, Dees - aka Jim Ambrosek, who acted in a couple of the plays - is sometimes too-self-conscious with his scripts, but he shows promise as a playwright.
And there is this: "Dude" is by a Tucsonan, is performed by local actors, and tickets are just $12. It should be supported.
And who knows - maybe you'll be with an audience that's in a laughing mood.
• What: "Dude True Story: Three Tall Tales."
• Playwright: Jimmy Dees, aka Jim Ambrosek.
• Director: Susan Arnold.
• When: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 4.
• Where: Beowulf Alley Theatre, 11 S. Sixth Ave.
• Tickets: $12, with discounts available.
• Reservations/information: 882-0555.
• Running time: About 2 hours, with one intermission.
Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at email@example.com or 573-4128.