Topical Storm

In our book, any theater group that's produced a show called And Gimme Back My Chaka Khan CD You Asshole is welcome in Houston, which is why we're happy to hear that the ladies of Austin-based Gypsy Baby are bringing their decidedly strange brand of theater to town. And they ought to fit in just fine, considering they're holing up with the equally weird folks from Infernal Bridegroom Productions.

For two weeks, two original one-acts, Topical and Trappa Keepa & Girth, written by Gypsy Baby playwright Lindsay Kayser, will run wild at the Axiom. And as described by Susie Williams, GB's director, the shows couldn't sound any more curious.

According to Williams, "Topical is about two women. One is named Pants-Around-Her-Ankles. She's locked up in the bathroom at work, analyzing her skin, searching for disease," says Williams. "The other woman is named Suspended-Disbelief, and she's hungover at work. She's trying to remember all that happened the night before." Running at just 20 minutes, Williams says, the short one-act should be quite funny, even if both the characters are "on the verge of a nervous breakdown."

Performed with actors from IBP, Trappa Keepa & Girth takes an altogether different run on the ridiculous. "It tells the story of a man who goes to meet his online girlfriend in the mall," says Williams. "It's what happens when he goes to meet her and things don't go as planned." She can't stop giggling as she adds, "It's about two of the loneliest people in the world and what happens when they try to love each other."

IBP's Cary Winscott is playing Girth, the loneliest guy in the world. And the show features music by IBP artistic director Anthony Barilla, performed by IBPers Cathy Power and Chris Bakos.

Williams refuses to give away any more details of these odd plots. But she will allow that both plays are definitely comedies and that "you can relate to the humanity" of them. "The inevitable failure of people," she adds, "is funny."

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Lee Williams