Review: Put My ___ in Your ____ (The Mammals)

| August 7, 2011
     
Put My X in Your X - The Mammals
Put My ____ in Your ____
 

Written and Directed by Bob Fisher  
at Zoo Studio, 4001 Ravenswood (map)
thru Aug 27  |  tickets: $20 (BYOB)  |  more info

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Go ahead…Put it right there…I dare you!

     

Ted Evans - Put My X in Your X - The Mammals

The Mammals presents
    
Put My ___ in Your _____

Review by K.D. Hopkins

I am still buzzing from the concoction fed to me by The Mammals last evening. Put My ___ In Your ___ aka Your 15 Minutes of Finger is a wild and hallucinogenic ride through the Hero’s Journey fable like none I have ever seen. Think Dorothy from Kansas introduced to a mad 60’s art scene; Emerald City through a time warp of continuous visual stimulation.

Writer and Director Bob Fisher has created a visually lush mise-en-scène in perfect balance with references to many art disciplines. There is the chic ennui of the muse supermodel and fame addict/whore from the films of Michelangelo Antonioni such as “Blow Up”. Frederico Fellini is represented with the chatty hangers on from “La Dolce Vita and Ingmar Bergmann shows up in the stark monologues and shadows. The centerpiece is a dark and hysterical Warhol homage which is where our heroines are bumped into the land of Oz via the Factory.

The Hero’s Journey is an archetype passed on through fairy tales and epic novels. The heroines are Birdy and Turtle who live in a stifling middle class nightmare. Erin Orr plays Birdy with a wide-eyed innocence that turns into a blistering performance of addiction, withdrawal, and learning the Big Truth: celebrity is addiction and anyone can be a whore for it. Stacie Hauenstein personifies Turtle with perfect twitchy madness. The agoraphobic Turtle believes that their mother is still alive and living as Elvis in a caricature portrait with which she has regular conversations. She makes Birdy kiss ‘Mama’ to get bacon. Yeah, it’s that twisted and brilliant.

Adam Dodds personifies The Warhol character of Snail (aka ‘Big Guy’) with creepy menace and deft humor. He wears a white shock wig and – speaking through an amplification device – never directly addresses anyone.

Fisher’s production is a perfect satire of the celebrity cult created by Andy Warhol, who blew up everyday common items and everyday common people as well. Even Snail/Big Guy is manufactured and created by his own larger doppelganger in a lab coat, appropriately named Whitecoat. Gabe Garza, as Whitecoat, follows Snail around with his own amplification device. Who controls who? Who creates what?

All of these questions are posed in wonderful subtext and whip-smart dialogue. The monologues are timeless and yet original when the hangers on crowd approach the mike to say what makes them special. All of the stories are the same – they will even maim or kill themselves to create a perfect memory of their lives. They don’t quite get to suffering artist because they are images created by the Big Snail or Whitecoat.

Put My X in Your X - The Mammals 2

My absolute favorite scenes involve Bert Matias as Boxman. He is the ego consciousness character that helps our heroines make it home. He is the Scarecrow, Bruce Lee, and the nasty man that lived on everybody’s block in a house full of porn and racing forms. Boxman lives in a big refrigerator box decorated with sparkly lights, clippings, and a few sketches of vaginas. Matias is hilarious as this character, portraying humor that would be on the edge of insulting in a lesser actor’s hands. Some hobos travel with a bottle of cheap liquor. Boxman travels with various bras and panties hanging out of his pockets.

The entire ensemble is spot on and in perfect sync as they loom about in various stages of idolatry, menace, bitchery, and blind faith.

This is an avant garde homage and innovation at its best and I think it will be a classic on the theater scene. Brilliant. Also brilliant are the costumes, scenery, sound and tech effects. It was as if I were transported back to the days of stewardess commercials, hipster sansabelt pants and jauntily tied ascots! If you are looking for something to do in Chicago, check this out or freak out some visiting relatives by dragging them to Put My… The only downside was the drunk ass boozer in front of me stacking nearly a dozen empty cans of cheap beer on the seat next to him. He talked back to the stage as if it were a television show and then passed out. Come to think of it, that clown confirms our cultural confusion with what is real and what is manufactured by whom and why. He could have been part of the show if he had passed out in the first ten minutes. I definitely recommend bringing some good drinks (All shows are BYOB). But pony up for a good bottle of wine or a nice India Ale – don’t waste great theater on crappo booze!

A huge huzzah for Put My __In Your ___!

  
Rating: ★★★½
  

The MammalsPut My ___ In Your ___, aka Your 15 Minutes of Finger runs on Friday and Saturday nights through August 27th. The show is at Zoo Studio, 4001 Ravenswood, Suite B-1 (map). All performances are BYOB, and begin at 10:00 pm. Tickets are $20 (suggested donation). There will be an industry night on Monday, August 15th at 8:00 pm. Call 866-593-4614 for reservations. For more information, visit ChicagoMammals.com.

All photos by Bob Fisher. Video by Warwick Johnson, edited by Bob Fisher.


   

artists

cast

Stacie Hauenstein (Turtle); Erin Orr (Birdy); Sean Ewert (Boy Bitch); Adam Dodds (Snail aka Big Guy); Bert Matias (Boxman); Jake Carr (Taylor Twin); Ian Brown (Mead Twin); Ted Evans (Fred); Dennis Frymire (Interview); Ann Sonneville (Dark Edie); Annie Hogan (Light Edie); Ellen Girvin (Baby J); Liz Chase (Ivy/Mama); Gabe Garza (Whitecoat)

behind the scenes

Bob Fisher (director, lighting, video, writer – w/additional material from the cast); Warwick Johnson (asst. director); Clint Sheffer (Collaborator); John Ross Wilson (sets); Erica Hohn (costumes); Dianna Driscoll (stage manager); Ashley Corbett (light board operator)

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Category: 2011 Reviews, K.D. Hopkins, Mammals, The, World Premier, Zoo Studio

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