Sunday, February 04, 2007

Julie Atlas Muz - Theater - New York Times:

With wide-set eyes, blond hair and a carved physique, Ms. Muz, 33, is a towering goddess in the cabaret and night-life world. When she takes the stage in her pasties and five-inch platform heels (without them, she is only 5 foot 3), the audience gets titillation with an edge. In one number a fake bloody hand, shackled to her own, has its way with her, to the tune of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s “I Put a Spell on You.” In another, she escapes from a truss as Lesley Gore sings “You Don’t Own Me.” In one subterranean bar Ms. Muz was bludgeoned as Italian opera played. She emerged from the piece nude and covered in fake blood. It’s one of her favorites.

“She has a Grand Guignol aesthetic,” said Kate Valentine, a friend and longtime collaborator who directed “Exquisite Corpse.” Intended as a reflection on suicide, terrorism and fear, it offers a sly meditation on the power of femininity in the face of aging and death. At one moment, Ms. Muz is unhappily examining her few lumpy bits in an enormous mirror; at another, she is shoving a naked baby doll in the freezer, pouring a shot of (real) tequila and handling a (fake) AK-47 with the panache of a sexy villain. It’s not just a tease; it’s a kiss-off.

4:26 AM