THE MISEDUCATION OF DR. LAURA, GayCo Productions, at Second City, Donny's Skybox Studio. This evening of gay and lesbian sketch comedy starts with a bang. The seven-person opening number--sung to the tune of "Gee, Officer Krupke!" from West Side Story--lambastes not only overtly antigay "professionals" like Dr. Laura but a broad range of legitimate scientists who've spent countless hours trying to understand the "problem" of homosexuality. Is it our deficient genes, our pea-size hypothalamus, our oddly proportioned fingers? Under Jason Grimm's brisk musical direction, this explosive song-and-dance number shoots rapid-fire barbs and tears through so many levels of society you're left breathless, wondering where the company will turn its sights next.
If only GayCo had lived up to the standard it set in the show's first five minutes, it would have had a major hit. Much of the rest of the evening, however, is aimed at rather easy stereotypes (gay men's penchant for fashion and drag, lesbians' affinity for long-term relationships and power tools), making portions of the show feel 20 years out of date. Some of the more promising bits--who keeps the slave when two leather men break up?--despite intermittent ingenuity seem underdeveloped and unfocused. Only in the final 15 minutes does the show get back on track, offering extended multilayered sketches that have all the surprise lacking in most of the preceding efforts. --Justin Hayford