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STAGE REVIEW : ‘Oh Fudge!’ Is Light on the Laughs : Way Off Broadway production is too wacky for its own good.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

“Oh Fudge!” is a comedy that doesn’t make any claims about being mentally nourishing. It’s dopey and pointless, and apparently proud of it.

Too bad it’s not funnier, too.

Written by prolific El Toro playwright Jack Sharkey (the byline, Monk Ferris, is one of his many pseudonyms) and given a desperately slapstick staging at Way Off Broadway, “Oh Fudge!” follows the bubble-headed travails of pretty Danni Dawn (Judi Geppert), a commercials queen who runs into trouble while shooting an ad in the Amazon.

This leggy number is attacked by a horde of exotic wasps that inexplicably carry a toxin with dire comic results. Danni comes down with an illness that requires the consumption of huge amounts of fudge to keep her alive.

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Her lecherous doctor (David Nelson) sticks her in a fat farm where she’s forced to eat the stuff nonstop while mingling with various screwballs, many of them chubby (fat gags abound).

That’s really all you need to know about the plot of “Oh Fudge!”

Director Tony Reverditto’s cast works at a fast clip but never alters the tempo. They just keep coming at you with the wacky faces, the goofy mannerisms, the crazy accents--it wears you down. Hamming it up passes for camp and everything gets predictable.

The few laughs that do sprout up are owed mostly to Geppert, who plays Danni like Marilyn Monroe after too many cups of coffee. She does a starlet-gone-mad giggle and her pouty body language is, at times, bawdily comic.

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‘OH FUDGE!’

A Way Off Broadway production of Monk Ferris’ comedy. Directed by Tony Reverditto. With Michelle Fashian, Ricci Thomas, Judi Geppert, Ralph Maldonado, David Nelson, Marcia Bonnitz and Robert Blankenship. Set by Del DePierro and Tony Reverditto. Sound By Steve Schmidt. Plays Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. through Jan. 12 at 1058 E. 1st St., Santa Ana. Tickets: $12 ($1 discount for a canned food donation). (714) 547-8998.


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