Last night I saw Tennessee Williams's play The Mutilated now at the New Ohio Theatre (on Christopher Street where the Wings Theatre used to be). Performance artist Penny Arcade (a.k.a. Susan Ventura) absolutely stole the show as Celeste. Her over-the-top performance as the exploitive old drunk just out of the "poke" had the audience in stitches. What makes Celeste so wonderful as a character is her sheer audacity, and Penny Arcade played the role without an ounce of shame.
Mink Stole, best known for her performances in John Waters films such as Pink Flamingos and Hairspray, played the title role of the mutilated Trinket Dugan. Trinket's quiet desperation came thorough loud and clear in her stylized performance, particularly in her scenes with the brutal Slim, played by Patrick Darwin Williams.
The Mutilated is a relatively short play, but it was filled out into an entire evening with the addition of songs composed by Jesse Selengut. From the moment the audience enters the theater, the band is playing and actors are on stage dancing and partying. The play takes place in New Orleans on Christmas Eve, and the party atmosphere continues throughout the play, giving the audience permission to laugh along with Williams's intentionally outrageous script.
Anka Lupes provided a perfect set for this play, which calls for multiple locations, all of which are meant to be suggestive rather than realistic. Graham Kindred did an excellent job of lighting that set in a way that made it even more versatile. The costumes by Angela Wendt were perfect, and the whole show was beautifully directed by Cosmin Chivu.
The Mutilated is playing until November 24th, so make sure to check it out soon!