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Stage Capsule Reviews

Our critics weigh in on local theater

Twenty Love Songs Infernal Bridegroom Productions' Tamarie Cooper spent a decade accumulating fans with her hilariously silly Tamalalia series. When it ended, summers didn't feel the same. But now Cooper has come up with a new concept-driven piece, a "variety show" called Twenty Love Songs. And though this new idea is not nearly as well developed as her Tamalalias, fans will recognize her supreme sense of the bizarre in the new show. Despite the title, much of this is not musical. In fact, the funniest piece, called "Young Love," features Cooper and Jennifer Mathieu Blessington perched on barstools at either end of the stage reading from their teenage diaries. It's a riot of sweet humor. But while some scenes are hysterical, others are just head-scratchers. In a skit called "(An Untitled Skit about a Woman's Complex Relationship With her Vibrator)," a woman's vibrator comes to life and tells her all about his love of demolition derbies. Other problems happen when the material gets sentimental, as when Blessington later reads from her grown-up diary in "The Most Important Thing," about Blessington's middle school students, who are going through what she did as a girl. Had Cooper and company cut Twenty Love Songs to one hour, it would be a great activity for a weekend night. But as it is, too much of the show isn't nearly as good as what we all know Cooper is capable of producing. Through June 9. The Axiom, 2525 McKinney, 713-522-8443.

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