That is how my colleague Helen Jaksch ended her review of ArtSpot’s production of Kiss Kiss Julie. I can’t say I much disagree with her. It is a play in the actual sense of the word. Its momentum doesn’t so much come from a plot but an urge to titillate, tickle and arouse. Whether genderbending with wild abandon or creating the echo of a Hindu goddess in a swimming pool, the human installation piece that is director Kathy Randel’s latest production uses August Strindberg’s Miss Julie as a diving board to plunge into an extended intellectual version of Don’t Dream It Be It.
In fact, about a third of the way in, as we were being escorted to the kitchen of The Joan Mitchell Center, I began to wonder if the collaborators were aware of how emotionally similar their show was to the bacchanalian ebullience of The Rocky Horror Show. Repressive energies of compartmentalization in a struggle against Queer Exuberance. Stuffed shirts and starched collars are snapped out of joint as Strindberg loses control of his creation and finds himself transformed into part of the floorshow.
I’m afraid so, Janet, but isn’t it nice?
Except this time, because ArtSpot is a bunch of softies… Frank never leaves the pool, there is no dark push back, and Queer Exuberance wins.