LETTERS TO EDITOR
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A CurtainUp Review
by Les Gutman
Today is Charlie's birthday, and the show opens with this character wrapped in about 50 feet of red sequined fabric. Charlie is a "messy lady" who's known for, among other things, dancing the funky chicken. (Early on, the show will include a hysterical visit to the Chicken-a-go-go.) Along the way, our club kids will take us on a journey in the life of a couple of gay boy denizens of the downtown club scene.
In a series of scenes lasting about an hour, Brandon Olson, who looks like a club kid, and Jonathan Wooster, who doesn't particularly but makes up for it with sheer talent, not so much tell a story as limn a lifestyle. There are familiar disco tunes registering, but the show's most notable use of music derives from other genres. As an example, when we've had our "fill of fowl," we hear "Falling in Love Again".
At one point, Brandon, sitting in bright light, listens as a voice (Jonathan) tells him he needs to walk a certain way so people won't think he's gay. (He tries, to great effect, in heels.) Later, as Jonathan sings a hip-hop tune, Brandon counterpoints with "My Heart Belongs to Daddy". Perhaps the show's best piece consists of an inventive series of riffs playing on the words "positive" and "negative" as the dicey dating ritual of determining a potential sex partner's HIV status ponders the sorts of existential riddles R. D. Lang might have contemplated and then the mathematical significance of multiplying positive and negative numbers. Each tangent is interrupted by a rendition of the Mercer/Arlen song, "Accentuate the Positive". Other segments deal with phone sex, foot fetishes and something best described as a sex ballet.
Go-Go Reál, a product of Dixon Place's Mondo Cane! commissioning project, will no doubt resonate most strongly for gay audiences, but it's a brilliantly funny bit of alchemy that belies its description. (Consumer note: scantily-clad (or naked) performers, various and sundry explicitness and the like are very much in abundance.) These are no ordinary club kids. "They sure ain't, Mama, they sure ain't."