Heavy petting

Mistress Ecstasy's Erotic Circus

Written and performed by Marjorie Conn
Directed and designed by Frank Cullen
Spotlight On Productions Winter Theatre Festival 2002
Non-union production (closed)
Review by John Chatterton

It is amazing that Marjorie Conn was banned in Provincetown one summer for taking off her top. It's obvious that this charming grandmotherly type wouldn't hurt a fly, and it does get very hot in the summer....

The play opens with Conn, dressed as a ringmaster (complete with whip), enticing the audience into the theatre. There she quick-changes to a woman having hands-free phone sex (for money) while she does her household chores. Her half of the phone fantasies was amusing, as they progressed from "normal" fantasies to sex with animals and heavy S&M.

As the play progresses, the fantasies appear to take on a more personal nature, one that involves the character (or even Conn herself). She develops the character of Eve (the original), who left Adam when he went crazy and took up with a woman, Robin, and subsequently with another woman, who took her through an S&M journey. Some of these fantasies -- like the quietly gripping story of Eve's abortion on a kitchen table -- Conn told to a ventriloquist's dummy.

The tone was matter-of-fact, calm, and sometimes unnerving for that, although Conn could, perhaps, have been more theatrical at times. There are many layers to this play; it weaves a contrapuntal web with levels of fantasy, puppets, props, and bright erotic backdrops (John Grillo, Amy Sheffer, Doreen Cirillo). Would that it had been promoted properly, as it could have found an audience among the more sexually adventurous crowd.

(Writing consultant Josef Quattro.)
Box Score:

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

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Copyright 2002 John Chatterton