Solo show `South Pathetic' is anything butBy CHRISTINE DOLEN Actor-comedian Jim David has had an award-winning stand-up career, including his own half-hour special on Comedy Central, and a less-than- stellar experience with the Great White Way: His one and only Broadway credit is for 1994's The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, which lasted all of 28 previews and 16 performances. But if you catch his solo show South Pathetic during its brief run at Fort Lauderdale's Andrews Living Arts Studio -- and catch it you should -- you'll see that David's theatrical talents and intelligence run deep. David, who blogs on gay issues for The Huffington Post and writes for The Advocate, is an astute observer of human behavior and personality quirks. In South Pathetic, the North Carolina-raised performer draws on his background, those powers of observation and his knowledge of drama to lovingly send up community theater. Yes, Christopher Guest did something similar in his hilarious 1996 movie Waiting for Guffmann. But Guest did it with lots more actors. Despite its title, a reference to a less-than-brilliant past production of South Pacific, David's play casts him as guest director of A Streetcar Named Desire at a community theater in Thermal City, N.C. Quickly apparent, as David morphs from character to character, is a basic truth: Since he left home for the big city, the New York-tested comedian ain't seen nuthin' like his colorful cast of amateur actors. His Blanche, production funder Ethelene, has mile-high hair and deep insecurity. Stella, a vixen named Darlinda, pays the bills by stripping down at the Foxy Lady. Stanley, whose real name is Stanley, is the only cast member with acting experience -- though that ``acting'' was in porn films. Mitch, used car salesman Bob Smith, offers to hook director David up with a nice, reliable Ford Pinto. David also introduces us to Sidney, host of his own pathetically rated show on the local NPR station; Dickie, a not-hot high school kid whose previous turn as Romeo was a cringe-inducing experience for one and all; Slovan, a chemical engineer-turned-janitor from Bosnia-Herzegovina; Najeem, the Indian proprietor of the motel where David sleeps between breakdown-inducing rehearsals; and Robbie Lee, the show's gay costume designer. South Pathetic, which had a successful run at the New York International Fringe Festival last August, has simple production values, mostly shifting lights and sound effects. But thanks to its talented creator-performer, the play manages to be hilarious, insightful and, finally, quite moving. Christine Dolen is The Miami Herald's theater critic.