Gimme That Queso Fountain

Dallasites should hurry to catch this Austin troupe's peculiar performance art

Dallas should hurry to catch this Austin troupe's peculiar performance

Rude Mechs presents Stop Hitting Yourself
E. Jason Liebrecht, Heather Hanna and Hannah Kenah of the Rude Mechs. Photo by Erin Baiano/Courtesy of ATTPAC

They had me at queso fountain.

Austin's notorious theater collective, the Rude Mechanicals, is in Dallas through May 30 as part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Off Broadway on Flora series. The troupe's current show, Stop Hitting Yourself, ran at Lincoln Center in 2014, and now the unsuspecting audience members at the Wyly Theatre get to experience this one-of-a-kind group for themselves.

If you're expecting an actual narrative, sorry to disappoint. There is the merest hint of a plot in this 90-minute whirlwind (charity, greed, a fight to the death, etc.), but you'll have a better time if you don't try to follow it. Just sit back and enjoy the visual assault of gaudy gold, sparkling chandeliers, flashing lights and, yes, that fountain made of queso. (They go through $50 worth of cheese each night, I learned.)

Yes, the Rude Mechs are as weird as promised, but they're also extremely talented. Expect lots of tap dancing (they say the show was partially inspired by old Busby Berkeley flicks) and some delightful singing. If you want to laugh, listen to the lyrics. If you want to be moved, just listen to the voices.

You'll also be called upon to participate, because the group takes its "collective" mission very seriously in creating its unusual works. But don't worry — they're not as rude as they claim.


Stop Hitting Yourself plays through Saturday. Call 214-880-0202 or go here for tickets.