July 10--In the opening moments of the Woodlawn Black Box Theatre's "When Pigs Fly," a brusque guidance counselor notes that "being an ice capade is not a career goal."
She then offers four potential career paths for the would-be capade, a wide-eyed fellow named Howard Crabtree: Watch repair, garden supplies, plumbing or chicken farming.
Howard (Isidro Medina), dressed in an outfit inspired by Dream Curly from the musical "Oklahoma!," isn't having any of it. He sets out to prove the guidance counselor wrong, pulling together an ambitious musical revue and enlisting his actor friends to perform in it.
The show, a gay-themed revue that strings together nearly two-dozen skits and musical numbers, does not go as planned. And as things go awry, the show gets funnier. That's particularly true in the scenes in which Rick Sanchez appears, playing a high-strung actor who comes unglued as his numbers are slashed.
The entire cast -- which also includes Kevin Murray, Michael J. Gonzalez and Gerardo Vallejo -- is funny, and they all handle the music well.
The funniest sequence also belongs to Sanchez, who plays an increasingly schnockered Carolann Knippel, artistic director of a theater called the Melody Barn. She introduces a season of original musicals including an update of "Annie" in which Carolann plays the title role.
The heart of the show is Howard, who is haunted by the guidance counselor's advice. The role is well-played by Medina, a charismatic performer who captures the guts and gumption required to follow a dream.
The show was written in the '90s, and has the feel of a period piece. Most of the material has aged pretty well. But the ode to Sen. Strom Thurmond, who has been dead for 10 years, is awfully creaky.
The rest of the show, briskly directed by Christopher Rodriguez, is hugely entertaining.
"When Pigs Fly" can be seen at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays at the Woodlawn Black Box Theatre, 1920 Fredericksburg Road. Tickets cost $15 to $23. Call 210-267-8388 for reservations or visit woodlawntheatre.com to buy tickets online.
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