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Fat Fest 2003

2003-08-17 02:13:53.931355+00 by Dan Lyke 0 comments

Last night we both needed a break, so we skimmed down Squidlist looking for cool stuff, saw "burlesque", noted that it was Big Burlesque, a show titled "Fat Fest 2003", so were a little unsure about what to expect, but we headed down to the Theatre Rhinocerous to see. After dinner in The Mission we got there about 45 minutes early, being used to bars rather than theaters as venues, and ran into a huge line of trim fit men. We got in the box office line and the vibe got even weirder, one or two women, but we wondered just what we were in for. I was just about to turn to Charlene and say "wanna go see what's happening at The Odeon?" when we discovered that these folks were all waiting for Making Porn. So after that crowd dispersed we went into the smaller downstairs theater.

"Nothing says performance artist like a naked fat dyke in a Spandextm sack."
--- Beth Smulyan (quoted from memory, I think I got it close)

Elizabeth Gumbel MC'd, and she was great (and has a killer voice). A few other performers had it together, the additional flesh gave at least one tassel twirl an amazing amount of action, and André the Urban Hermitt(sic)'s readings were good enough that we bought the book on the way out, the Phat Fly Girls had some pretty cool moves, but we both left a little perplexed.

Today Charlene and I talked about it a little. I still haven't come to any conclusions, but I guess that I came away from the performance feeling a little like an enabler. I also feel uncomfortable because rather than accepting all these women for their size some of the performances were about celebrating their size, and in that we get away from the performance and into objectifying the person. And the objectification bothered me.

It was also interesting to have a slightly older largely dyke audience rather than the usual well dressed women and their dates and drunk guys in jeans in the back; the music was quieter, which I thought I'd appreciate for being easy on my ears, but it made the audience have to work harder. Some of the hootin' and hollerin' had to be forced a bit. As I mentioned, the MC managed to bring out the crowd well, really work us right, but in the end it turned into a much more cerebral evening than we were looking for.

No conclusions yet, except that that feeling of objectification and enabling left us both looking for answers. But in between that there were some fun performances, a few that need a bunch of polish, and at least we'll be talking about it for a while.

[ related topics: Quotes Books Erotic Sexual Culture Health Bay Area Theater & Plays Art & Culture Burlesque ]

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