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Theater Review: Herotique-Aahh…

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Hollywood is notoriously cruel to women after the big 4-0. Rather than working on their character actor skills while watching forty-something and beyond male actors romancing twenty-somethings, looking about as ridiculous as Tom Cruise bouncing on Oprah’s couch, 3 Blacque Chix decided to make a tantalizing and decidedly adult show, Herotique-Aahh….

Directed by James Reynolds and making its world premiere as a full-stage production at the Fremont Centre Theatre in association with James and Lissa Reynolds and the California Performing Arts Center, this one-act show is for the over-18 and decidedly mature crowd. Do you blush and stammer at the mention of sex? This isn’t for you. If you’re one of those men in a midlife crisis and running toward Viagra and girls instead of women, this isn’t for you. Well-choreographed by Candy Brown and accompanied by musical director Munyungo Jackson and Jason Bruns on percussion instruments, this piece talks about “the sweet smell of testosterone in the morning,” “battery-operated appliances,” being knowing enough to “know how to let my fingers do the walking,” and not needing “mercy sex” from friends and the husbands’ of friends post-divorce.

The writers and creators of this show have cast themselves as three disparate types of female sexuality, Lady L (Lola Love), the Dominatrix; Lady I, the Goddess of Love and Sexual Freedom (Iona Morris) and Lady M (Mariann Aalda), the Ex-Stepford Wife. Dressed in black by costume designer Fontella Boone and sitting on black iron and wicker stools on a stage made to look like an upscale salon by set designer Victoria Profitt, these women purr, growl and pose as they assert with poetic rhythms that female sexuality doesn’t end until one’s dead. You won’t get flashes of flesh but a tasteful display of cleavage and heavy doses of laughter. Lady L wears a jumpsuit and has a riding crop and handcuffs. Lady I wears an off-shoulder, full-length formal gown. Lady M looks pert in a tight-bodiced, full-skirted 1950s-ish dress.

Unlike Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, this piece doesn’t deal with a particular anatomical part or touch on the sadness and fear of women’s sexual experiences. Nor is this a male-bashing bitch fest. This isn’t about being black and being female. This is about being healthy, lustful women looking for love and flaunting their sexual heat without talking about menopausal hot flashes. These women have written a sexy, sensuous and witty play that celebrates mature, sexually confident women, who are not high-maintenance, but rather, not willing to settle due to age.

Perhaps for 3 Blacque Chix, the best revenge against a biased Hollywood is success on stage.

Herotique—Aahh… continues until Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays at the Fremont Centre Theatre, 1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena. $25. Call (866) 811-4111.

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