Female sexuality has a voice in the Blue Room’s exciting and refreshing production of The Erotica Project
Chico, CA 95928
Powerful tales of sexual adventures and fantasies, told in frank and explicit terms by a dozen powerful women, mark the Blue Room Theatre’s arousing ensemble production The Erotica Project.
“I know you’ll love my nipples.”
That opening line from the first of 15 skits instantly suggested at Friday’s performance that this spicy medley would be a compelling production, even if it was judged only on the sensual apparel, erotic verbiage and simulated sex acts that would follow. But the significant insights that each monologue delivered about women’s sexual experiences, daydreams and motivations made the production a quality piece of mature theater that has long been synonymous with the Blue Room.
Originally created by Erin Cressida Wilson and Lillian Ann Slugocki for New York City’s famously feisty WBAI radio station, The Erotica Project refreshingly casts aside all sexual inhibitions.
The delicious, first-person soliloquies, some funny, some heart-wrenching, and all enthralling, combine stimulating sexual imagery (and one quick flash of naked breasts) with equal amounts of relevant social and sexual mores to ponder.
From a sex-starved junkie (played by Sarah St. Clair) beating on the door of a man with whom she begs to indulge her lustful affections, to a woman of a certain age (Drenia Acosta) who recalls some life-shaping lustful encounters from the past, to a sexual baptism (Cat Campbell), to a woman (Summer Maroste) who wants only “to be bent over, spread open and entered, colonized and raided,” the cast of divas offers a remarkable range of situations and attitudes.
For men, The Erotica Project presents an opportunity to see and hear women proudly asserting themselves as sexual beings, expressing their most primal desires, expectations and conquests. For women, it is a chance to see and be themselves in a setting in which they are not saddled with society’s moral codes that pressure them into being demure about their sexuality.
And these performances are anything but demure. Annanbell Jackson’s Monica Lewinsky-like character proclaimed, “I thank God that the president of the United States is blowable,” before unabashedly depicting an experience in which “my lips and teeth are sparkling with his anointment.” Such spicy language and a simulation of riding him like a horse while waving a U.S. flag over her head highlighted the fantastical delight that someone might get from copulating with the nation’s commander-in-chief.
Other themes to ponder included those in Sherri Bagley’s role as a mistress in an unfulfilled sexual relationship, and Anna Metzger’s monologue in which her character was clear about her intense need to be sexually desired. “I want a man who is so hot for me that he will jump through a ring of fire to get into my pants,” she shared.
Bagley was truly awesome as Mary Magdalene, mixing blasphemy with seductiveness while describing in vivid detail her carnal experiences with Jesus. “I kneel down and take the Son of God into my mouth, and he is sweet,” she related. The bluntness of the language combined with the irreverence of the subject was enough to make anyone reevaluate their sensibilities.
Hilary Tellesen’s portrayal of a woman, clearly past 30, who vocalizes disdain and jealousy for a 23-year-old temptress (Jackson) who stimulated the sexual sweet tooth of her husband, was nothing short of fabulous. Playing a woman who is not the “it girl” anymore, Tellesen mixed humor and hair-pulling domination as she recalled in vivid detail the days when it was she who was a 23-year-old object of desire.
Producers Cara Clifford and Ben Allen, along with the eight directors and all 12 performers, should be proud. Their rendering of The Erotica Project triumphantly stimulates the intellect as well as the libido.