PR image for Untitled Feminist Show
(Courtesy of the company)
PR image for Untitled Feminist Show
(Courtesy of the company)
Young Jean Lee has established a well-deserved reputation as both writer and director of a number of daring and thought-provoking works. On the surface, Untitled Feminist Show, conceived and directed by Lee as part of PS 122's COIL Festival and performed at Baryshnikov Arts Center, would seem to continue that tradition. Unfortunately, the work is unevenly executed.

The almost completely wordless piece features six women -- Becca Blackwell, World Famous *BOB*, Amelia Zirin-Brown, Hilary Clark, Katy Pyle and Regina Rocke -- who possess various body types, and perform entirely in the nude.

Certainly, the cast should be credited for fully committing to the performance in a decidedly uninhibited manner. But while Lee and company may be commenting upon perceptions of beauty and the celebration of different types of female forms, such a point is not exactly revelatory, and is also made fairly early on.

There is an extended sequence in which the performers act out an uninspired dumb show about two carnivorous creatures attacking a trio of young ladies who are in turned watched over by a fairy godmother-like figure. Other segments are dance-based, but the only two performers who make much of an impression with their terpsichorean abilities are Pyle and Rocke. (Lee collaborated on the choreography with Faye Driscoll and Morgan Gould.)

Among the other performers, World Famous *BOB* -- a fixture in the Neo-Burlesque scene -- is the most forthright in highlighting the sensual aspects of the female body; Blackwell's more traditionally masculine appearance makes for an interesting contrast with the other performers; and Clark has a rather scary dance solo to a hard-rocking beat.

However, it's Zirin-Brown -- better known in some circles as cabaret artist Lady Rizo -- who performs the show's most effective segment. In it, she makes eye contact with various men in the audience, and then mimes activities ranging from blowjobs to castration, all the while smiling coquettishly. There's a gleefully subversive quality to her actions that just seems sadly missing from the rest of the show.