"Pinocchio's Hot Night Out" opened a two-night stand at the Cellar Door last night. It calls itself "an erotic puppet show for adults," but "dummies" could be substituted twice in that description. The show was not only tasteless, it was also witless, lifeless and pointless.
Characters abounded. They did other things, but this is a family newspaper. There was the Good Fairy with her battery-powered magic wand. There was a lecherous Gepetto. There was an innocent Pinocchio with a nose for trouble and Linda Lovelips and . . . Well, if you can think of any other stupid and obvious characters, they're probably in this stretched-out-summer-camp sketch.
The Good Fairy came across as a combination of Mae West, Betty Boop and Miss Piggy, with vocal styling after Marylin Monroe in "Some Like It Hot." There was also an insulting, racist sterotype of a black prostitute which owed too much to Ralph Bakshi's "Fritz the Cat." The dialogue consisted of sophoomoric humor -- and Wayland Flowers does better characterizations with one voice than "Hot Night Out" does with a dozen prerecorded voices. The puppets were adequate, though obviously embarassed. Well, good roles are hard to get.
Puppeteer Jerry Halliday sees this show as his ticket out of Norfolk; he'll be lucky to reach the city limits. This show ends not with a bang, as one would suppose, but with many whimpers.