Poonie's Cabaret

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Hey Bloggers,

I'm back to having fun watching and writing about dance. I plan on renaming and reformatting this site soon, so heads up. There is always so much to see here in Chicago. I appreciate your suggestions for what I should see. Gimme more! Last night I went to Poonie's Cabaret!

Poonie's Cabaret
June 21, 2010
Links Hall
3435 North Sheffield Avenue

Poonie's Cabaret at Links Hall is a unique annual Chicago dance event that features a number of artists performing works in progress and improvisation. The proceeds from the tickets (5$ suggested donation) go to support the Duncan Coming Out of the Closet Memorial Fund. Curator and host Jyl Fehrenkamp (Aka Jyldo) introduced the show by noting that it is indeed Pride week, making this years cabaret “the gayest Poonie's ever."

This year Poonie's was steeped in campy salutes to pop culture. Samantha Allen has Beiber Fever. She performed a section of her work in progress, “Bedroom Diva Pop Odyssey” clad in sparkling golden tights and a home made Justin Beiber tank-top. Her dance, intended to gain the attention of the teen pop music star, displayed all the redeeming qualities of a bad YouTube fan-girl video; complete with failed lip syncing, not so sexy hair flips, and egregious body rolls. Allen has great comedic timing. She feverishly pounds her chest with great angst. Her fist seems to turn against her, pounding Allen into the ground, leaving her red chested and swooning.

Jyldo performed a nostalgic and piercingly honest ode to her first celebrity crush. In “These Were the Pills Cory Hain Was Taking,” sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things,” Jyldo reflects on her girlhood obsession and on Hain's movie career/drug habit. Jyldo sits on the floor surrounded by treasured pictures of her teen heart throb and grants the late Cory Hain her forgiveness for his shortcomings.

Gretchen and Regina perform a cheery folk song about moving to Portland with the dream of growing body hair and having “hot hippie sex.”

Sammy Sprigs and Phil Elson dance in a lively combative duet with a happily ever after ending.

Josh Radclif's work is erie and distorted. He creates a sexy, other worldly landscape of living stalagmites. The costumes created by Maggie helped emphasize the dancers swaying limbs.
Sammy Sprig's music score paired well with Radclif's leering choreography.

Amanda Crockett of “El Circo Cheapo” thrilled the audience with her highly skilled performance of an unconventional mime piece.

Jessica Hudson performed a solo that featured a character who is both shy and starved for attention.

I'm not sure if Judith Light is a real celebrity or not, but Candy Lawrence (playing Judith Light) insists that you might know her from, “Who's the Boss.” Lawrence's character wears a kind of 1980's business woman drag costume. Think shoulder pads and lime green pumps. She opens the piece by, arriving late and explaining that Tony Danza is a woman and that she and Judith were in the closet together. Before she can finish her story, she declares that she has “no time for this short story.” Lawrence's hilarious routine is a kind of critical mockery of motivational seminars and the American business work ethic.

The closing piece, created and performed by Suzy Grant, transforms an orderly stage into a scene of destruction and mayhem. Grant begins facing upstage writing in a notebook, while two janitorial looking men set up two ladders and an office paper shredder. She wears feminine clothes and a curly silver wig. Grant lustily tears out the page she has been composing and hands it to one of her helpers. The men work to shred to paper from atop the ladder. Grant stands under the office appliance as her words become dismembered and rain down on her now exposed face. Grant is wearing a handlebar mustache, which further disrupts the orderliness of the piece by skewing Grant's gender. In this erratic work, Grant frolics in and the goes to war with a barrage of shredded paper. The piece ends with Grant alone in an exhausted heap in the center of the destructive mess she has created.

For more information on Links Hall, please visit: www.linkshall.org