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‘The Doyle & Debbie Show’ is a hilarious country-music spoof

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The New Century Theatre showcases a hilarious gem written by Minnesota-native Bruce Arnston – ‘The Doyle & Debbie Show’. The satiric musical is playing now through May 11th in downtown Minneapolis.

Has-been country star Doyle Mayfield attempts a comeback after a breakdown, four wives and three singing sidekicks by the name of Debbie. After finding his third Debbie singing her heart out at the VFW, the duo reignite with the old hits that made Doyle and the previous Debbie’s semi-famous Nashville stars. The new Debbie is eager for her shot at stardom, but also holds suspicions that Doyle’s demons may crush her dreams.

David Andrew Anderson is convincing as the washed-up, alcoholic Doyle. He’s got the twang and yodel down pat and cleverly plays up the fantastic low-brow tunes throughout the show, including “Stock Car Love” and “Blue Stretch Pants”. When Doyle’s not hilariously offending through song, he’s on the brink of a mid-life meltdown, but it still leaves the audience wanting to embrace his cheesy quirkiness.

Kim Kivens, as Debbie, has a stellar classic-country voice and great comedic timing. Her sad eyes and pout change to a twinkle and smirk at just the right moments, and we cheer for her as the single mom of three kids, even when Debbie checks in on them mid-show via walkie talkie to hear them duking it out from the car in the parking lot. Debbie belts out “Barefoot and Pregnant” and “When You're Screwin’ Other Women (Think of Me)” with just the right amount of whining to be believable as a Nashville country-star wannabe.

To round it off, Paul Somers plays well as the country duo’s frazzled back-up musician. The honky-tonk bar setting and tacky costumes, hair and make-up make you feel like you are watching this career comeback in real-time. Even the “menus” set the tone for the over-the-top show you are about to enjoy.

The New Century Theatre is located at 615 Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis (inside the City Center Building on the street level). Tickets are $16 - $34, senior and group discounts are available. Tickets can be purchased at the New Century Theatre box office, online at HennepinTheatreTrust.org or by calling 612.455.9501. “The Doyle & Debbie Show” is set to run until May 11, 2014.

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