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The Underdeveloped & Overexposed Life & Death of Deena Domino

Critics' pick
Photograph: Beau Alluli

Who among us hasn’t pondered what will eventually become of Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, the scene-stealing breakout star of TLC’s child-beauty-pageant reality show Toddlers & Tiaras? Creator-performers Katie Hartman and Leah Rudick explore that question in The Underdeveloped & Overexposed Life & Death of Deena Domino, which traces the long, ugly journey of a reality-TV star from child sensation to desperate wash-up. The narrative cleverly stitches together colorful comedy sketches, interspersed with imaginative video skits that propel the story forward while the actors change costumes. Reality TV is fertile ground for viciously spoofing the D-list “famous”—with their lack of talent, trashy fans and hangers-on—and Deena feels very timely. To be clear: The work of Hartman and Rudick, collectively known as Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, is not for the faint of heart. Shamelessly over-the-top, Deena is juvenile, tasteless, irreverent, vulgar, grotesque, profane and obscene. I loved every minute of it. (Visit fringenyc.org for more information.)—Scott Wooledge

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