On A Roll

When self-pity is easier than humor, laughter is suddenly invested with a courageous strength of character. That’s what makes VOX PHAMALIA: Tales From the Crips such an extraordinary event. Written by eight physically disabled writers, Tales takes an honest and darkly funny look at what it’s like living with a disability. “I think there’s never been anything like it done before,” says director Edith Weiss. “It’s a combination of song parodies, scenes and monologues. It’s all originally written. It’s not for kids, because it’s rather dark humor.”

More irreverent skits include PHAMALY Jeopardy with categories like tasteless jokes about Helen Keller, incontinence supplies and the game “Cripple or a Road Cone,” wherein contestants guess which choice a clue describes. You’ll also hear a parody of Andrew Lloyd Webber songs, including a satire of Jerry Lewis and his telethon. “Some of it is just a really honest look at living with disabilities — like getting up a wet ramp when the wheelchair starts to slide,” says Weiss. “The most surprising thing is their sense of humor about these situations.”

Tales opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Pluss Theatre in the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 South Dahlia Street; it runs again tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. Admission is a suggested $10 donation. For more information, call 303-575-0005 or go to www.phamaly.org.
Sat., Nov. 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 23, 6:30 p.m., 2008

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Mark Dragotta

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