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Off-Off-Broadway Review

Gutter Star: The Paperback Musical

Even free air-conditioning isn’t worth having to sit through the inept new musical “Gutter Star.” Bloated at less than 60 minutes, Jack Dyville’s book strains hard for easy laughs in his wink-wink pulpy story of closeted lesbian girl-next-door movie star Darla Storme (Deborah Tranelli) in 1950s Hollywood. Unfortunately, Tranelli (who has previously played Tallulah Bankhead) is hardly the Debbie Reynolds type, and her Ann-Margret-in-Vegas costumes don’t help matters.

As a studio head, David Gillam Fuller is so wooden that one keeps looking for the ventriloquist propping him up; the rest of the cast, which includes Nikki Van Cassele as Darla’s lover and Paul Ryan as a studio assistant, do little to make themselves stand out, probably because the material and director Eric M. Schussel don’t allow them the chance. The chorus members are sloppy, extended notes are invariably painful, and no one comes out of this debacle unscathed.

Presented by Fully Flighted Productions in association with Friends Always Creating Theatre as part of the New York International Fringe Festival at the Minetta Lane Theatre, 18 Minetta Lane, NYC. Aug. 21–24. Remaining performances: Sat. Aug 22, 2:45 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 22, 10:15 p.m.; Mon., Aug. 24, 5:45 p.m. (866) 468-7619 or 

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