as last week's workshop of his new show, Real Live Girl, proved, Damien Atkins sure knows how to seduce an audience. And he can do it even when all the work's engines aren't firing fully.Wearing toreador-cape-red pants and a tight T-shirt emblazoned with "Supergirl," he spends 90 minutes exploring in song and story the various females fluttering around inside himself. At this point, it's the music that's the show's winning element.
Atkins pulls lots of ladies from his creative psyche, among them a pair of lesbian fairy godmothers, a woman contemplating breast implants, a stroke survivor and versions of his mother and sister.
Frequently, though, these figures are only sketched in, though a series of film divas and a cheated-on woman who takes exquisite revenge on her partner are dead on.
But he soars with the musical numbers, including I Enjoy Being A Girl, I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, pieces by Arlen, Sondheim, Kander and Ebb and a handful of lesser-known works.
Here -- with his expressive voice and face and nuanced delivery -- Atkins goes for the dramatic and emotional guts of a piece, turning the future of a homecoming queen into a heart-melting tragedy, and making the disco queens in the audience howl with his camp rendition of I Will Survive. You go, girl -- to a full production.JKREAL LIVE GIRL created and performed by Damien Atkins, directed by David Oiye. Presented by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. December 7-9. $20. Rating: NNNOne-man Girl