Funny girls

Lesbian Pulp-O-Rama!

Created and performed by The Sassmasters of On the Verge Theatre Company
HERE Arts Center
145 6th Avenue (647-0202)
Equity showcase (closes April 5)
Review by Elias Stimac

Anyone looking for an outrageous evening of comedy should immediately make plans to see Lesbian Pulp-O-Rama!, a late-night offering for audiences of all persuasions. The latest creation from a talented troupe called The Sassmasters, this evening of sketches and songs is a sure-fire success and deserves a larger audience. The response from an enthusiastic Friday-night crowd at HERE (which hosted the group's two previous sold-out engagements) recently indicateD that this show could achieve long-running cult status.

Taking its cues from 1960s lesbian pulp fiction, the production is a collection of genre spoofs -- detective stories (Sondra Stingray, Girl Gumshoe, written by Gretchen M. Michelfeld, directed by Beatrice Terry), western yarns (A Roll in the Hay, written and directed by Terry), and sports dramas (Slippery Slopes, written by Heather de Michele and Anna Fitzwater, directed by de Michele). Opening the bill was an extreme exercise in bawdy body language entitled Lusty Locomotive (choreographed and directed by Fitzwater), and tying the whole thing together was a cross-dressing balladeer by the name of Melineh Kurdian, who sang The Ballad of Goldie Gay (words by de Michele and Fitzwater, music by Kurdian, direction by de Michele) throughout the evening.

Every second of the show held a surprise, a twist, a giggle, or a guffaw. The women of the Sassmaster sorority are highly skilled at both verbal repartee and physical shtick. Fitzwater was the leading lady of the evening, portraying a sinuous ski instructor, a not-so-private dick, and a reluctant farm filly. Michelfeld proved to be a hoot-and-a-half as a nerdy ski student and a caustic cowboy chef. Terry played a bevy of butch bartenders with manly glee, and de Michele was hilarious as a mysterious minx and an earnest cowgirl looking for love in all the wrong places.

Also in the cast were "guest perverts" including Emily Burton and Cheyenne Casebier, who were irresistible as sexy ski bunnies and hot-and-bothered ranch hotties, and Maggie Burke, whose comedic roles ranged from a girl named Calamity to a dyke hobo. Kurdian as the balladeer gave an incredible triple-threat performance, as an actress, singer, and musician, and held the viewers confidently in her hypnotic grasp. All eight performers were completely committed to their cartoonish characters, making it difficult to decide whom to focus on during the over-the-top ensemble scenes.

The direction was deliberate, diligent, and downright dirty. The writing is wild, witty, and wonderfully ribald. The parodies are so faithful to the styles they are mocking that each of the scenes has the potential to be developed into longer scripts.

The technical elements on the evening were particularly well-done for a black box production. Raquel Davis designed the versatile lighting, and Beatrice Terry contributed the suitable sound. The uncredited set pieces added just enough ambience to define the various locales.

Box Score:

Writing: 2
Directing: 2
Acting: 2
Set: 1
Costumes: 2
Lighting/Sound: 2

Return to Volume Eight, Number twenty-eight Index

Return to Volume Eight Index

Return to Home Page

Copyright 2002 Elias Stimac