Stephnie Weir's Slowdeatha, Tx 

Wednesday, Jun 14 2006

Destry Pharis is a repo woman whose car was repossessed by her father. As Destry works her debt off to Dad, also in the repo trade, she reckons her Odessa (a.k.a. Slowdeatha), Texas, lifestyle might need some feng shui — a bit of an epiphany before she becomes a walking beef jerky in a miniskirt. “I’ve joked to my friends that if I hadn’t left Odessa, I would turn out to be this woman, however she’s more colorful than me,” says Stephnie Weir about the Southern-fried alter ego in her debut one-woman show, Slowdeatha, TX. During her downtime from Mad TV and her IO West improv gig with hubby Robert Dassie, WeirDass, Weir wrapped her head around Slowdeatha. Like the broken women in a Tennessee Williams play, Weir’s forthright femmes are often faded Southern belles — but significantly funnier. Yet, despite the sleek brassiness of her dramatis personae, i.e., the pie-eyed Anna Nicole Smith, or Dot the hyper girl who tickles herself, there’s a great deal of sincerity in Weir’s weirdos. It comes as no surprise that the sketch artist’s roots stem from the teachings of Chicago IO gurus Del Close and Charna Halpern, who impressed the axiom “truth in comedy”: Comedy should be mined from reality, not gags. As such, many of Weir’s influences fall close to home, specifically Grandma, but then there’s dear old Dad’s used-car customers. “I was introduced to a lot of cocktail waitresses and strippers as a kid. I hate the term ‘white trash,’ but let’s just say they were a ‘slide by the seat of their pants’ group of people.” Comedy Central Stage at the Hudson Theater, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd., Tues., June 20, 8 p.m.; free; resv. recommended. (323) 960-5519.

—Anthony D’Alessandro

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Reach the writer at anthonydalessandro@hotmail.com

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