Fringeworthy

Hip Shot: Cabaret XXX: Les Femmes Fatales

Fort Fringe – The Baldacchino Tent Bar, 607 New York Ave NW

Remaining Performances:

Wednesday, July 13th at 9:45 p.m.
Wednesday, July 20th at 9 p.m.
Friday, July 22nd at 6 p.m.

They say: "Four sirens ignite the stage in this rock cabaret. These sexy songstresses will seduce you, love you, and leave you. With looks like Jessica Rabbit and voices like Joan Jett, this ain't your mama's femme fatale."

Emery's Take:”I don’t give a fuck about my bad reputation!” I’m pretty sure if Joan Jett had seen Pinky Swear Productions’ Cabaret XXX: Les Femmes Fatales, she wouldn’t mind Allyson Harkey’s bold revision of her 1980 rock anthem. This show is a big middle finger in the air to anyone opposed to four confident and sexually liberated women who repeatedly ask the audience, “What’s wrong with being a slut?”

Backed by an impressive band called Les Fucking Exes, in which each member takes turns playing different instruments, Les Femmes perform The Eagles’ "Heartache Tonight", Patti Griffin’s "Every Little Bit", Florence and The Machine’s "Girl with One Eye", Lynyrd Skynyrd’s "Tuesday’s Gone" and Concrete Blonde’s "Joey", just to name a few. The definite highlights of the show were Harkey’s version of Mary Prankster's "Mercyfuck" and the ladies' collective rendition of "He Had It Coming" from the musical Chicago.

Billed as a rock cabaret, this is basically four uninhibited women cranking out classic rock while diagnosing the ills of their past relationships and daring anybody to judge them. And even if they’ve heard it all before, get there early enough and you will be provided with pen and paper to tell your own sad love story which is then read aloud by Karen Lange in between songs. In one of many twists in Saturday night's performance, one of these stories came from a woman who had caught heartache from her Czechoslovakian boyfriend. Karen asked an audience member how to say "motherfucker" in Czech. Receiving no answer, she turned back to us and said, “I thought he would know, but all I got was a blank stare.” Her response was met by another audience member who screamed out, “A blank Czech!”

Classic.

See it if: You’re looking for a raucous night of rock and roll under the gypsy tent.

Skip it if: You’ve never known heartache and pain.

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