I have no idea why the headline of that story caught my eye last week:
A Rite of Sexual Submission:
Bed to Book to Off Broadway ‘The Surrender,’
Adapted From Toni Bentley’s Erotic Memoir
I don’t go looking in The New York Times for erotica, sexual submission holds zero interest for me, rites remind me of the parts of church I don’t care for, and while I like theater† I don’t worship it like New Yorkers.
But anyway, I started reading the article. And this blog is about the stuff that gets my attention …
What struck me afterwards was that the memoir’s author, the actress, and the director … are all serious about this. Alrighty then.
Still curious from this dip into the breadth of human experience, I got on The Google and found a copy of the memoir. I confess that I didn’t read the whole thing … but it is well-written, readable, and deeply introspective. It’s NSFW, but in 2014 its pornographic content is relatively minimal.
It’s more like one person’s memoir about their obsession with a short-lived focal point in their life, that in turn happens to be something most people avoid. Think Lolita rather than Playboy, although less interesting than either. I think the girl’s got some issues (nicely summed up by this wordplay on Funkadelic). I hope the book helped her work through those. I can’t see though, how putting it on stage, amounts to anything more than extending her navel gazing in the hopes that someone’s taste for tales of others’ prurience gets converted into ticket purchases. The end of this interview tends to confirm that view.
* I’m actually a little curious to find out if this post collects spam comments faster than other ones.
† I’ve never seen anything quite this … unusual. The best I can manage was seeing a pre-Broadway version of White Boned Demon;the play mixing the trial of Jiang Qing with Ibsen's The Doll House.
I thoroughly enjoyed “My Life as a Warrior” by Jennifer Sky in the September 10 issue of The New York Times.
Ms. Sky was recruited into modeling as a teenager, and found it soul-shattering. She turned to acting, got a part on Xena: Warrior Princess, and blossomed.
… Still recovering from an adolescence of exploitation at the hands of the fashion industry, it was shout-it-to-the-heavens inspiring. … I crushed so hard on Xena that I wrote Lucy Lawless, the actress who played her, a fan letter — and I worked on the show. [emphasis added]
Heartwarming, and highly recommended (and I’m not a fanboy: I probably saw Xena for a grand total of 30 seconds).
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