An overview from The Annoyance Theatre:
"Sexual repression is alive and well in suburbia. Mom is a closet dominatrix and Dad is a closet cross-dresser. Their daughters, Julie and Tammy, are getting to that age where clothes may not be the only hang-ups in their closets. Homecoming is just around the corner - Julie's got a date and Tammy's one-woman tour-de-force is sure to a hit.
But between Mom's secret dominatrix meeting and dad's secret cross-dressing meeting, who will be there to take pictures?"
It was opening night & the house was packed. The audience was all on one level & the stage was merely a raised platform causing the sight lines to be somewhat obscured unless you were at the front or in an aisle seat... which I wasn't. But that's black box theater for ya and I'm willing to crane my neck for a good show. Unfortunately, this was not that show.
To give it props, it was a new musical written and performed by the ensemble. The performers slipped deftly in and out of each role they played, the singing was good and some of the songs were fun. There were also a few ear catching lines such as:
"This floor is naughty 'cause it's dirty!"
"This is as girly as I get, so suck my dick!"
"Make that dick a fountain, you gotta climb that BJ mountain."
"...don't be frigid, keep it rigid."
"I'm gonna get my Dominatrix on."
The one truthful moment was when Nancy and Greg (the dominatrix mother and the cross dressing father*) met for a blind rendezvous. Nancy, being new to the whole dominatrix thing, kept fumbling with the different BDSM toys that she obviously didn't know how to use and Greg kept asking if she thought he looked pretty.
But there were too many things that tarnished even that moment. The fact that Nancy didn't recognize her blindfolded husband felt false. Even when they're in women's clothes, I know my lovers. I had trouble accepting that just because Greg was a cross dresser he was into BDSM when there was no indication of that earlier in the play. The scene could possibly have been somewhat redeemed at the end, where they were yelling/singing about the dishonesty & deception, if they had just gone one step further and turned their animosity into fuel for their kinks. They didn't. Then later, there was a scene where Greg pretty much apologizes saying, "you don't need a safeword to know I love you." I didn't get why he was the only one apologizing since she deceived him too. Plus, while kink is not necessarily about love, using a safeword shows that you care enough to keep your partner safe.
*I didn't get why they didn't
have a man cast in this role.
have a man cast in this role.
Overall, the play lacked focus. There were many threads of plot that never seemed to come together. The teenage girls were superfluous to the theme of kink other than being uncomfortable onlookers. Neither of the girls' storylines went with the theme and Tammy, the youngest who was supposed to be 16, often spoke and acted like a toddler. The minor characters were unnecessary cardboard cutouts.
The two aerial view backdrops (one of a suburban neighborhood and the other of a football field) were busy and not connected with the action on the stage. I found them to be distracting, but symbolic of the disconnected and cluttered nature of the play.
From the standpoint of one who is in the kink lifestyle and is connected to the kink community, I found this play to be rather insolent. It was as if the most rudimentary research had been done. While I do not think anyone has to be kinky in order to write about kink, it is important to talk to at least a few people involved in the community and to do more research. For this play, it felt like they spent a couple of hours drunk on the Internet and decided to write a play.
Later, as the Gypsy, Lady Hawk & I sipped tea, ate stir-fry & discussed the play, we all agreed that The Annoyance Theatre succeeded in their mission to be annoying.