Thursday, July 26, 2012
Review: Stretchmarks (Winnipeg Fringe)
If there is an award for Best Poster, let it go to Kimmy Zee and her full-colour vintage pin-up housewife, from back in the days when the duck-face was adorable. I confess this is what brought me to the show, and, unlike so many Fringe shows, I was happy to see the classic housewifery aesthetic carried onto the stage. Stretchmarks is a sexy burlesque cabaret all about the effect of motherhood and marriage on your sex life. Four delightful Winnipeg women tell us their stories with wit, wonder and song through their various means. One tells us the stories of her deeply-in-love parents, and the unrealistic expectations that creates. Another recounts the consequences of marrying young, which include wearing Northern Reflections, and falling for sweaty washboard players from the Bayou when you’re stunned that they think you’re sexy. A third brings a tear to your eye with a re-write of Cat Steven’s classic Cat’s Cradle as a mother-daughter tale of unconditional support, which is worth the price of admission alone. We don’t hear much from our Yoga-enthusiast fourth, however, other than to understand that for some, searching for inner-peace is a bodily pursuit. It would have been nice to hear a story from Robin Redbreast, “The Tall One” – whose stretch marks are present, if less apparent. Although the show has many brilliant lines and comedic moments, some are a tad too Winnipeg-specific and fly directly over the head of this out-of-towner. Much of the unabashed exploration of the importance of fellatio in marriage-maintenance and the glories of female ejaculation might have been a bit too explicit for this seemingly puritanical Winnipeg audience. In a house of easily 200 people, only one raised her hand when Kimmy Zee asks how many married women still perform fellatio, and was otherwise met with uncomfortable silence when polling the audience for reactions. Who knew Winnipeggers to be so frigid? However, for those fond of fucking, tits and sass, a roiling good time is to be had.