Recapping Booze, Sex & Puppets Event
Guest Post by Donald Conrad
For those of us who weren’t looking for that über romantic venue and instead wanted to find something completely different to do on Valentine’s Day, we found it! The center hosted a unique event that challenged the audience to think while keeping us laughing. Booze, Sex, & Puppets was performed by separate groups of performers who were not part of a single troupe or organization. A combination of songs, puppets, dolls and abstract swans entertained us for the evening and a beer-drinking, faux pregnant master of ceremonies, Lindsay Abromaitis-Smith, tied the series of six vignettes together. As she popped the top on a beer during her introduction, she matter-of-factly informed us that her doctor told her that she shouldn’t drink more than “four of ‘em a day.”
Puppets were center of attention in the first two vignettes. A puppeteer singing Dolly Parton’s “He’s Going to Marry Me” performed the first vignette. Alissa Hunnicutt has a lovely voice and she expertly manipulated the puppets to the lyrics of the song. In the next vignette the puppet, Grandma Getta, performed by Kirsten Kammermeyer, informed us how much she appreciates a person’s backside; constantly reiterating the words, “Wow you have a HOT ass,” to wild laughter as she pointed to random people in the audience.
The third and fourth vignettes used dolls. Both required the audience to search for meanings. In the third, not a word was uttered as the master of ceremonies led the audience through a writhing, almost erotic, birth of unisex twin dolls. The scene went on with these dolls seemingly impregnating each other and each giving birth to another doll. It all ended with the master of ceremonies nursing the offspring. I have to admit that I am still struggling to understand the intended meaning, but I was completely mesmerized by the entire scene. The fourth vignette involved electro band Prima Primo acting as windup dolls. Using various props, the two dolls, performed by Stephen Franco and Janet Castel, explored the interpersonal relationships between individuals.
Following a humorously bawdy ballad, sung by Alissa Hunnicutt, called The Cunning Linguist, which contained hilarious double entendres in every line, we were ask to cover our eyes. When we opened them, we found four gyrating objects of white sitting on the stage. To music of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, two men (the hunters) began to interact with the “white swans.” Before long it was obvious that these hunters were playing out their sexual fantasies with the swans.
Although extremely diverse, all the vignettes on some level spoke to the vast kinds of relationships between human beings. Some were humorous, some somber, some a little confusing, but all were entertaining and worth the time spent.