The Fullerton College Theater Department's opening night presentation on March 14 of "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," was a lot like eating cotton candy; sweet and attractive to look at, but when you bite into it, you find there's very little "substance.
Granted, that lack of nutritional value has as much to do with the play itself as it did with the perfectly fine performances turned in by the players aniddirected by FC's Gary Krinke.
-The play tells the story of a whorehouse called, "The Chicken Ranch," which has existed for 150 years with the tacit approval of the town sheriff, the governor, and the college football team. The conflict comes in when a do-gooder television reporter gets wind of it and vows to put an end to this "house of ill repute."
Key performances were made by Jo Monteleone as Miss Mona, the brothel owner, Brian McKay as the good-old-boy sheriff Ed Earl Dodd, and Martina Paris as Doatsy Mae, the singing waitress who always dreamed of an exciting life. Ron Dickinson gave a bravo characterization of Melvin R. Thorpe, the reporter who betrays his own lechery at every turn.
A musical winner was "There's Nothing Dirty Going Oh," a number where the girls convince us they work at a clean, well-run house under the watchful eye of Miss Mona. Choreography and stage direction in this first act was especially good, with the girls retreating up staircases and closing blinds to simulate their activities.
The play fell short, however, in some later dance numbers, which seemed under-rehearsed and hurried-through. Also rushed through were the play's few dramatic' moments: Miss Mona learns the "Chicken Ranch" must go and before the audience begins to feel the dramatic impact, the girls have packed up and moved on to different, with hints of better, lives. Then we're supplied with the most cliched, pat ending a story can have. (I won't make it more used by telling what it is.) All in all, it was fun, rowdy fare, with lots of gun-slinging and hand clapping. It just wouldn't do for a steady diet.