Bad boys and girls :: erotic holiday theatre

by Scott Stiffler

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday December 5, 2009

Looking for something a bit blue and a little nasty this holiday season, then thank some forward thinkers from the world of downtown NYC theater who realized that the Yuletide season was ripe for an injection of nasty, naughty, sexual content.

To that end, the experimental theater boosters at Collective Unconscious are presenting a Winter Festival whose four works mine the holidays for all their erotic nuggets. Here's what's currently playing:

Not your daddy’s Dickens

Through December 11: Created with the cooperation of the producers of the biopic Bette Page Reveals All, The Veneration Of Bettie Page pays tribute to the iconic patron saint of burlesque - by examining the lasting influence of her enduring image and her amazing spirit.

On December 9, Naked Girls Reading: A Christmas Carol means to deliver on the promise of that title by featuring ladies who un-don their gay apparel to read aloud a version of A Christmas Carol abridged and originally performed by Dickens himself. If the thought of all those naked females is enough to roast your chestnuts, then calm down Mary - and step up to the plate by making this show a Christmas present for the special lesbians in your life. Don't have any? Get some. You may have plumbing or construction needs in 2010.

Satiric sex crimes

Through December 12, Sex Crimes Cabaret is L. Gabrielle Penabaz sonic and visual take on tragic but true sexual legislation from the past and present. Penabaz combines the passionate thoroughness of an academic with the humorous and pointed commentary of a first-rate satirist. Helping to make the medicine go down? Plenty of song and dance! Visit

Penabaz says she was inspired to create the show by a Village Voice article by Tristan Taormino: "She writes sexpert books and gives advice on anal sex and really sassy stuff. While she was traveling to Texas, and got stopped there at the airport for having too many sex toys. She was violating a Texas law that said if you have more than seven obscene devices, it is intent to distribute."

That anyone could be arrested in this day and age for having seven or more sex toys in their possession led to Penabaz researching, cataloging and making art from a long list of laws which label certain sexual practices as criminal.

The show contains a series of vignettes, introduced by a narrator. Each vignette addresses a specific sex crime case, law or incident - including laws pertaining to interracial relationships, PMS as a courtroom defense strategy, sodomy, and the aforementioned sex toys scandal.

Penabaz, who likens the presentation to "a very strange PBS special," says the point of the show "is to remain vigilant and keep your sense of humor."

G-stringed Scrooge?

Through December: Themed Burlesque entertainment troupe Pinchbottom ( presents Filthy Lucre: A Burlesque Christmas Carol. By this point in time, everyone from Mr. Magoo to Jim Carrey has done their take on the immortal Charles Dickens classic in which a male miser goes from humbug to hero. This time around, though, Scrooge is a chick, the counting house is a strip club, and the stage is filled with more boobs and penises than you can shake your stick at! Alternative theater/burlesque legends Nasty Canasta and Jonny Porkpie star as Scrooge and Marley's Ghost - emoting lines from an adaptation by Mr. Porkpie.

Porkpie, whose Pinchbottom production company will present How the Pinch Stole Christmas at NYC's Kraine Theater on December 28, says the idea for their profane burlesque-infused version of A Christmas Carol has been brewing for several years.

The Pinchbottom take on Dickens concerns Scrooge's descent into artistic mediocrity as she chooses a lucrative strip club career over the more artistic path of theatrical burlesque. The price she pays? Visits from three ghosts - and performances from "about 35 of the best downtown burlesque and art stars. We've taken their numbers and incorporated them into the show."

Lest you be put off by the cavalcade of breasts, Mr. Porkpie notes that each performance guarantees "at least two, sometimes three boys taking off their clothes." That means everybody gets what they want - and is consistent with the Pinchbottom mission statement of presenting ambisexual material. As Mr. Porkpie proudly notes, "We aim to appeal to what appeals to us which is basically everyone and everything that is sexy."

Collective: Unconscious Winter Festival at Walkerspace (46 Walker Street between Broadway & Church Streets in Tribeca). Tickets range from $15- $20, available at 866-811-4111 or

Scott Stiffler is a New York City based writer and comedian who has performed stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy. His show, "Sammy's at The Palace. . .at Don't Tell Mama"---a spoof of Liza Minnelli's 2008 NYC performance at The Palace Theatre, recently had a NYC run. He must eat twice his weight in fish every day, or he becomes radioactive.