The Homosexual, or the Difficulty of Sexpressing Oneself | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Homosexual, or the Difficulty of Sexpressing Oneself

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THE HOMOSEXUAL, OR THE DIFFICULTY OF SEXPRESSING ONESELF, Trap Door Theatre. There's no center, moral or intellectual, to this pitch-black comedy by Argentine playwright and designer Copi. A mishmash of gross-out grotesqueries and absurdist satire full of manic panic, The Homosexual deconstructs the sex drive by reversing genders, expectations, and logic. As such it's an appropriate late-night offering--in fact, 3 AM might be better for this mondo bizarro of desperate transgendered characters holed up in a Siberian parlor. (Sample humor: A dogsled is drawn by a Chihuahua.)

A young Greta Garbo (Michael Matthews in elegant drag) shows up to claim her piano student Irina and take her to China. Irina (all-suffering Nicole Wiesner) is torn between embarking on the Trans-Siberian railroad (which does not go to China) and enduring the wolves, cossacks, and blizzards that lurk outside. Copi has it in for Irina. In little more than an hour this clueless waif endures an abortion, compound fractures after falling downstairs, mutilation of the mouth and back, and an animal in her anus. Torturing Irina is her erstwhile mother and seducer Madre Simpson (Patrick Brennan, looking like Harvey Korman's Jewish mother character), who resents Garbo's competition for Irina's feeble interest. In this sex-phobic rant, the "difficulty of sexpressing yourself" is moot--though according to press materials the Jerry Lewis-loving Parisians adored the play.

Appropriately dragged out, Beata Pilch's torturously slow staging only underlines the overkill, but Imma Curl's hideous wigs have a life of their own.

--Lawrence Bommer

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