The shiny program for philHutchins's Dating The Pirate boasts full-page ads, lengthy descriptions of future shows and a novella-length message from the show's artistic director (also Hutchins). Too bad some of the time and talent spent on the brochure didn't go into the show itself, a meandering mess about a bald, overweight barfly named Johnny Fig (Robert McCarroll) who's spent 8,285 consecutive days going to a place called the Club Concubine so he can win the title of Madame Barman 1976. Hutchins's attempts to satirize the gay community fall flat. Jokes about gay pets as accessories are stale, a mock-lesbian performance piece would be offensive if it weren't so dull, and there's not a sincere line in Fig's maudlin confessions about his sad, self-pitying life.
Only one sequence, where Fig imagines his future as a transsexual youth counsellor, comes to life. McCarroll displays lots of energy as he prances around the stage, but his quips quickly come to feel like third-rate Harvey Fierstein impressions.DATING THE PIRATE by Phil Hutchins, directed by Christopher Comrie, with Robert McCarroll
. Presented by Chameleon Theatre at Tallulah's Cabaret (12 Alexander). Runs to November 12, Thursday-Sunday at 8 pm, matinee Saturday 2 pm. $20-$24. 975-8555.