Capsule Stage Reviews: Steel Magnolias, The Story of Burford, Category 5, The Tamarie Cooper Show: Journey to the Center of My Brain (in 3-D)

The Tamarie Cooper Show: Journey to the Center of My Brain (in 3-D) The latest installment of Miss Cooper’s annual summer musical enchantment, wherein we are treated to her life and times as well as her wry observations of the same, possesses all the comic elements we’ve come to expect from Houston’s Botticelli comic. So why does it seem so flat? There have been at least a dozen versions of the franchise — the current production delves scientifically into her state of mind because of her pregnancy — but the surprise of it all is dampened. We expect goofy songs (more second-rate ones this time around), Monty Pythonesque humor, and political putdowns — and they’re all in there — but it’s not very different from previous shows. Just more of the same. Granted, it’s fairly funny, and no matter what she does, we laugh, because, let’s face it, she’s a damned funny lady. While she spends a great deal of this show sitting down, her face is never in repose, and that’s what we want to see. Naturally, she has the incredible theatrical sense to surround herself with equally wacky colleagues, who take some of the weight of the show off her delicate condition, especially the inventively hilarious Kyle Sturdivant as Miss Cooper’s battered, embittered Self-Control; the dead-pan drollery of Walt Zipprian as drugged-out Dopamine and dead-on Ann Coulter; the blissful Sean Patrick Judge as a never-ending Cat Stevens and a perfectly platitudinous Mr. Darcy; and over-the-top Jeremy Carlson as over-the-top Adrenalin. If you’ve never experienced Miss Cooper and her Catastrophic Theatre rogues gallery, by all means go and have a swell time. If you love her shows, you could care less what I say.