Sunday, October 4, 2009
Blood Sweat & Fears II: Guilty Pleasures
Molotov does it again!
Last night was the opening of Molotov's latest show, "Blood Sweat & Fears II: Guilty Pleasures," a delicious cabaret of three short plays, all introduced with zest by hostess Katie Molinaro.
First up was "Jack," an adaptation of an 1897 play (by Oscar Metenier) from the original Grand Guignol theater. The focus here is on suspense and terror, as a prostitute begins to realize that her current john, Jack, is really a serial killer. Second was a modern smut farce, "Thank You," by Carro Marren and Jon Lane. It opens with former mental patient Jacob, who's kidnapped Kevin. Turns out Kevin unknowingly did Jacob a good turn, and Jacob has brought him over for a happy few days. However, things take a very perversely hilarious turn (and I won't say how). Last up was Tara Garwood's "Is the Coffee Still Warm?" (freely adapted from the play "Coals of Fire" by Frederick Witney), which was a serious shocker. A wealthy blind woman is being read to by her servant, and in the course of the action, confesses that she's having an affair with her boss' husband. Naturally, blind fury arises with a gruesome revenge.
It's is about 10,000 different kinds of wrong, and in all the right ways. Lucas Maloney's direction is top-notch; he understand the material and lets the macabre humor run at full throttle. The cast has a great time with the material. Katie Molinaro is the quintessential vamp in her hostess role. Jenny Donovan is most effective in two fear-struck roles, the prostitute in the first play and the timid servant in the third. Newcomer Misia Certe is great fun, as the Madame in the first and the vengeful blind woman in the third. Kevin Finklestein is great fun as Jacob, a genuine comic talent. And Alex Zavistovich's burly presence is vital to this show; he's the perfect Jack in the first part and few actors have the balls to pull off what Kevin does in the second part. He's gifted with comedy but when he's the menace, he's almost a Tod Slaughter for the 21st century. All the gory parts come together in a gloriously hideous evening of fun.
Be warned, folks: stuff gets splattered on the audience. They provide plastic to protect one's self, but substances go out into the audience, including simulacra of blood and another bodily fluid. I wasn't quick enough on the draw and my favorite embroidered t-shirt got splattered...although since it's a horror-themed shirt, it's appropriate. (The program above was on the seat next to me. The bloodstains are not part of the design.) I'm told it'll wash off. But it did put me in a certain mood; I strutted out of the place, confident that nobody would fuck with me on the Metro ride home. And nobody did.
"Blood Sweat & Fears II: Guilty Pleasures" plays through 10/31, Wednesday through Sunday at 8:00pm, with a second show on Saturdays at 11:00. It's playing at 1409 Playbill Cafe, 1409 14th St NW, Washington DC. See it, folks, this is Dust & Corruption bliss.