A Project Mayhem Burlesque
Let the mayhem begin…
|The Mental Notion Society + Plan 9 Burlesque present|
|Fight Club: A Project Mayhem Burlesque|
Review by Katy Walsh
The Mental Notion Society and Plan 9 Burlesque present Fight Club: A Project Mayhem Burlesque. A woman in a bathrobe has a pistol in her mouth. The gun is being held by a gal in a backless top. And so, the show begins…and ends. In between, a narrator recounts the moments that led to the gun trouble. Through a chance encounter, the insomniac narrator meets Taylor Durden on an airplane ride. After Taylor gives her a private striptease, the narrator goes home with her. During an argument, it gets physical. They duke it out. The pleasure they derive from a wrestling-smackdown becomes the catalyst to forming a secret society. They invite women to get their aggression on with fisticuffs and pasties. And the gals arrive to kick ass and show tits. These broads are brawling for bras! Fight Club: A Project Mayhem Burlesque undresses the sadomasochist inside the ladies.
This is, first and foremost, a burlesque show. The dancers are ready to strip it down to glitter nipples and panties. And they do it…often! Initially, I’m surprised that the performers are not Playboy bunny-thin. There are plenty of love handles and pooches. It looks like a Dove campaign celebrating real women’s bodies. I found this reality angle admirable and empowering to women. These actors are confident in their bodies and flaunt them with pride. The dancing, choreographed by Stella Cheeks, is sexy and bold. Whether line dancing or solo stripping, these gals are expressing their naked style with flair. The ladies’ self-assured dance movements help the transition from dancing to fighting. Their moxie displayed in baring it seems to shift naturally to defending it.
The premise of this show is clever. Adapter and director Jonald Reyes developed this all-female parody from the movie and novel of “Fight Club.” Reyes’ script is at its most engaging in the witty banter between Sadie Hotkins (Taylor) and Marie Curieosity (Narrator). Other times, it goes off the rails in obscure add-ons like space monkeys. Also, the scene transitions get a little clunky with prolonged blackouts. At its best, Fight Club: A Project Mayhem Burlesque is ladies dancing, stripping, fighting to the hooting and catcalling of the audience. There is definitely an appreciation for these gals to get nude or get slapped from male and female audience members! Some story mechanics and lighting cues should be streamlined to serve as a backdrop to the erotic main attraction: naked women dancing and fighting. And these dancing and fighting ladies look to be receiving as much pleasure as they are giving.
Fight Club continues through April 11h at Public House Theatre, 3914 N. Clark (map), with performances Thursdays at 8pm. Tickets are $15, and are available by phone (800-650-6449) or online through ThunderTix.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at PubHouseTheatre.com. (Running time: 60 minutes, no intermission)
Photos by Jason Brown Photography
behind the scenes
Jonald Jude Reyes (director, adaptor), Smyra Yawn (stage manager), Bobby “Right This Way Robbie” Hoffman (fight choreography), Stella Cheeks (dance choreography), Drew Cohen (lighting), Jason Brown (photos)