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By Evelyn Glover, Cherisse Montgomery, Jen Bindeman, Jenny Klion, Linda Suzuki, Jae Kramison, J. Montague, and Deb Randall
Directed by Shirley Serotsky, Toni Rae Brotons, and Sarah Wiggin
Produced by the Venus Theatre
At the Warehouse Theater to Sept. 12
When the show’s called Bad Girls III: The Redemption, and Donna Summer is singing “Bad Girls” on the PA, you expect some righteous distaff misbehavior. What Venus Theatre delivers, instead, is an evening of vignettes that stick mostly to pretty territory: body image, bad breakups, breast cancer, and bad mothers. Evelyn Glover’s A Chat With Mrs. Chicky, set in early-20th-century Britain, is the strongest piece of the night: Middle-class Mrs. Holbrook (Louise Andrews) is trying to recruit her brother’s scullery maid, Mrs. Chicky (Rebecca Herron), to sign a petition demanding an end to the consideration of women’s suffrage. Although Mrs. Chicky would never directly argue with her better, she manages to float some choice observations she’s made during her difficult life in support of the opposite position. The satisfaction of this debate is lost, however, when the cast speaks directly to the audience about the importance of registering to vote, and it won’t be the last time the evening will be thus interrupted. In Just Sex (Jazz Hands), playwright Linda Suzuki puts a nice comic spin on a familiar situation: Six months have passed since two women (Andrews and Herron again) ended their relationship when one of them calls up to suggest they get together just for sex. Herron plays the one still in love so convincingly—she knows what a bad idea this is, but how many of us would act any differently?—trembling, running her hands nervously through her hair, failing to squelch her rising hope, that it’s easy to be heartbroken for her. Love Is Murder by Jae Kramison and Too Much Latin by J. Montague together constitute the bad-mother portion of the evening. In the first, a young woman (Elizabeth Simmons) bemoans her silent, sullen mom, who has lost interest in everything except digging a hole where her garden used to be. The latter’s mother tortures her son in the opposite way, forcing him to listen to an endless recital of opinion, complaint, and invective, while Sandy (Linden Tailor, in a fleece onesie and nightcap) just wants to go to sleep. Of course, Mumsie (Wendy Wilmer, channeling Blanche Devereaux in a floral muumuu and matching head scarf) doesn’t always mean to get so upset. “I’m sorry I keyed Jeffrey’s car when he told me I should read more,” she admits. Cramming so many plays into a tiny black space is set, costume, and prop designer Jessica Noble’s challenge, which she accomplishes with a few raised platforms that can stand for office space, restaurants, beds, or a kitchen. Company artistic director Deb Randall wraps up the evening with a powerful image. Saying too much about Injur-Ex would spoil the fun, but suffice it to say those who don’t respect the vagina may have a change of heart.—Janet Hopf