I saw this play at the Wooster Group on 5/18.  It's an adaptation of the documentary *Town Bloody Hall*, a film of a 1970 Town Hall debate about feminism featuring Germaine Greer, Jill Johnston, and Diana Trilling, moderated by (of all people) Norman Mailer.  The Woosters included readings of two poems by Johnston ("Tarzana from the Trees at Cocktails" and "On a Clear Day You Can See Your Mother") and stagings of scenes from an independent film directed by Mailer.

 

The performance was at the Wooster's home turf, the Performing Garage on Wooster Street.  It was a seriously downtown crowd.  I'll describe three notable members of the audience: a handsome young bearded man in a squash-colored suede vest, the winner of the Allen Ginsberg look-alike contest (frizzy hair on top and long creepy dreds in the back), and a lovely middle-aged woman in a white gauzy scarf with multi-colored tassels hanging off it (she was sitting next to me).

 

It was your typical Woosterpalooza, with the live performers aping the behavior of the people on the video screen.  Maura Tierney was fantastic as Greer, she did a delicious and impressive job of giving voice to the silent Greer onscreen.  It was fun watching the actual Greer onscreen and hearing Tierney's voice come out of her mouth, then turning to the right and watching (and hearing) Tierney as Greer.  

The other stand-out performance was by the Wooster prima donna assoluta Kate Valk as Jill Johnston.  Valk has been in every Wooster performance I've seen, and I hope she will be in every upcoming performance.  She is a delight, she makes me smile.  I'd never heard of Johnston, but Valk's daffy demeanor seemed to perfectly capture Johnston.  Some of her writing was amusingly surreal: "Sylvia Plath used to write poetry while baking bread.  That's how much of a perfectionist she was."

 

A lot of the show was fun, and it makes me want to see the film.  It was an interesting way to spend an hour, an interesting way to spend $27.  But it was wildly inconsistent, I might even say erratic.  It's a crap shoot with these people - - I will definitely see the next thing they do, because usually what they do is fascinating and sometimes it's brilliant.

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