Friday, September 25, 2015

Adrienne Truscott: a fool in the king's court

Dance/performance artist Adrienne Truscott writes that when, in the early stages of exploring stand-up comedy, she booked her fledgling act on a lesbian cruise, she ran into a little trouble. A feminist telling jokes about rape to a staunchly feminist audience? What could possibly go wrong?

"It was an incredibly 'safe' space as a woman and an unpredictably conservative space for a comedian," she writes in her "Creator's Note" for Adrienne Truscott's Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else.
No comic or anyone else for that matter wants to be told what they can or can't say, nor should they be. It is often a comic's job to utter the unutterable; that doesn't mean that they (we?) are beyond rebuke. Comedy is bold, powerful and supple but not unassailable. There is a difference between a fool and the fool in the king's court....
Now through October 3, you can watch this court fool perform a show that gives new meaning to the word chatterbox, a show where Truscott manages to be, at once, giddy and spot-on.

Hosted by Brooklyn eatery and comedy club The Creek and The Cave, co-presenting with The Chocolate Factory and Performance Space 122, Adrienne Truscott's Asking For It gives Truscott a platform to land important points about rape culture, victim shaming and right-wing hypocrisy while dissolving her audience in laughter. And there's even more educational value! Science nerds will enjoy detailed lessons in duck anatomy and gerbil crisis management. It all works, and while I'm still baffled by the gears in this machine, I'll note that if I told you a single joke out of context, that funniness might fall apart. The wholeness of Truscott's performance is the thing that works.

Truscott's exuberant persona is wildly nonstop, relentless, irresistible and, famously, naked in the netherparts region. Yikes! No wonder she likens this stand-up act to an act of rape!

The most real danger you'll face from Truscott, though, is the likelihood of getting smacked by a denim jacket ripped off and hurled from the stage--my face stung from a slight graze--in one of her acts of divestment. Let's just say, if Trickster Truscott were Salome dancing for Herod, she'd be working 70 veils, not seven.

What she's stripping at, though, is our tendency to avert our eyes and stay silent about things that upset the state of order. (It took a long time for some people to snap out of the Cosby Show trance, didn't it?) But there's absolutely no escaping when pussy's got something to say, damn it, and she will not be denied!

Adrienne Truscott's Asking For It runs tonight at 8pm and this Saturday at 7pm. It continues Wednesday-Saturday, September 30-October 3 at 8pm. For information, visit The Creek and The Cave's Web site here.  To purchase tickets, click here.

The Creek and The Cave
10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens
(map/directions: scroll to bottom of page)

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