Online since August 2002
Turbulence - Charlene Baldridge's theater diary

Lesbians on Adams Avenue

Published July 3, 2005


Over Independence Day weekend at Adams Avenue Studio of the Arts, Misfit Productions opened Charles Busch's long-running off-Broadway hit, "Vampire Lesbian of Sodom." The two-hour evening (continuing through July 24) comprises two hours of wacky, raucous sexual theater, including director Fred Tracey's "Desperate Debbie" and Bill Bozzone and Joe DiPietro's "Breast Men."

There is something to offend just about everyone – from the fabled vampire lesbians to Tracey's randy 14-year-old gardener, who trims his employer's bush with a most ingenious and immense tool that lights up. Busch's work covers two lascivious bloodsuckers over the centuries, ranging from ancient Sodom, where the Succubus (Deborah Wenck) first takes the Virgin Sacrifice (Nicole Brokaw). Since they are the Undead, their relationship/competition continues to present-day Hollywood, where they engage in a competition for sycophants and succulent virgins.

Assisted by more- and less-toned men (Tory Grande, Kevin Hettinger, Kevin Maxemin and Jeremiah Powers) plus Victoria Ma, Wenck and Brokaw are a consistently competent and outrageous hoot. They appear in both "Vampire Lesbians" and "Desperate Debbie." "Breast Men," an elongated sketch/fable about a guy who develops breasts, features Hettinger and Maxemin. Bob Korbett turns in a hysterically funny imitation of Jerry Lewis as the ancient handyman who still appreciates a good set of mammary glands. I beg to differ with the character (who's ignorant, the old man or the playwrights?), who says breasts are nothing more than fat.

Anyway, a good time was had by. One assumes that all that came expecting what they got – too bad there weren't more of them –even though the company is not as good from top down as it could be and one day might be. The flaws are common – over-production of human sound (this is a very small space) and speech that is marred by lack of actively employed teeth, tongue and lips that clearly articulate words, which are, after all, what good theater is all about. By the way, the actors' biographies are very funny.

Adams Ave. Studio of the Arts is located at 2804 Adams (at Idaho). Tickets are $12-$15. Phone is (619) 584-3593.

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