Jim Fitzmorris

new orleans' theatrical pugilism

Kiss Kiss Julie, Queer Exuberance and New Blog Roll Out

April 9th, 2012

And pure joy…

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.




  • Michael says on: April 9, 2012 at 5:25 am


    It seems like there is more to say.
    Love this new layout, btw.

  • Jon says on: April 10, 2012 at 12:19 am


    I had a somewhat different reaction to Kiss Kiss Julie. In the beginning as Bear was stripped and leashed I thought, Oh god, this is going to be hot. Wrong. The sexual satisfaction that could be gleaned by such imprisonment is never discussed. The humiliation and degradation was never given the opportunity to be sexy, it was only vilified. I did receive a rather unnerving spanking by Miss Mwase, but that was on my terms. The rest of the “activity” portion left me feeling like an parent at a children’s petting zoo. It never quite went far enough to excite me, and the discussion that it created amongst the people that were in attendance with me felt like a sex ed class filled with 14 year olds who had just discovered 3rd base.

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved the framework, and sure, it’s wonderful that people are opening up and finally discussing their “most intense sexual experience in a vehicle,” but what about those of us who have already discovered the taboo? What is being done here to remove the stigma of the darker side of sex? And why is homosexuality only represented by bisexual women?

    Although I applaud their efforts, I felt like it was SEX 101, and I took that course too many years ago to find it anything but quaint.

  • Lil Farley says on: April 11, 2012 at 3:03 am


    See “Strindberg and Helium” (lest we forget the original mistresses of the comic and restrained erotic oeuvre of Strindberg)

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Jim Fitzmorris

new orleans' theatrical pugilism