Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Well it seems Sparky's grandfather has gone missing in his time machine, so in search of him Sparky and his girl friend Binky take the machine to ancient Rome where they meet an empress named Impetigo, and then Attila the Hun comes on just in time to save them from the lions, but Attila falls in love with Binky so they flee him and wind up in an unspecified time warp where they meet Merlin the Magician who turns out to be the grandfather and who cures Binky of a Valium jag complicated by a band of pixies who are on speed . . . .
That's the first act of a new musical. "Out to Lunch," by Tim Grundmann and directed by Ken Bloom for the New Playwrights' Theater. It's running through July 30 at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday evenings.
The theater, at 1742 Church St. NW, has built a sort of cult audience with these camp farces. The attractions that draw then are leggy hoofers like A. David Johnson, Tanis Roach and Jan Frederick Shiffman, rhymes like "Walter Winchell . . . clinch you'll" and "years of torment . . . waging war meant," and lines that sometimes rise to the heights of:
"This dress is so old it votes."
"I'll expect you as the cock crows 6:30."
(to Shakespeare) "I really love all your plays."
But the things about camp is that it must be done absolutely straight. Mugging is out. So are leering, winking, elbowing, popeyeing, gaping and other forms of blackmail for laughs.
These people are good, and I wish they would learn that it's better when you don't laugh at your own jokes.