FRINGE REVIEW: Brat's Rockpile | Citypaper

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Fringe Review: Brat's RockPile

Deni Kasrel | City Paper | 9 Sept 2012 | Link to Article Here

BRIEF SELF-DESCRIPTION: Enjoy a double feature of rock ‘n’ roll theater (buy a ticket to both and save!): Popsicle’s Departure, 1989: Madi Distefano remounts her international award winning solo tour-de-force and former Live Art Festival show about the end of the punk rock scene in Boston. Eternal Glamnation: a nuclear glam-rock fantasia spectacle cabaret about finding your true self underneath the glittery shadow. Conceived by and featuring All-Star Brat Jess Conda, this show sold out last spring as part of her Rock & Awe series. CAUTION: THESE SHOWS FEATURE SEX, DRUGS, FLESH, STROBE LIGHTS, LOUD ROCK, PROFANITY, AND ALIEN ABDUCTIONS.

WE THINK: Brat’s Rockpile is a winning double-edge flashback. The first flash comes by way of Popsicle’s Departure, Madi Distefano’s dark comedic ode to the late ‘80s Boston punk rock scene. Wearing tattered grunge duds, she gamely weaves between male and female characters with exceptional fluidity. Distefano’s incisive tall-tale text hits lots of spot-on notes as she brings the punk period to life in all its desperate drug-addled excess. The show is a welcome reprisal; Distefano presented Popsicle’s Departure in the 2004 Live Arts Festival to much acclaim, and she hasn’t lost a step in her capacity to conjure the intensity and physical nuance to make you feel for her misfit characters.

The follow-up flashback heads to the Festival bar, with Eternal Glamnation, a campy, messy primal scream for the early ’70s era of polymorphous perversity. In the true spirit of glam rock the show celebrates androgyny, spandex and the freedom to let one’s freak flag fly. The live band and cast kick butt running though a bunch of glammer tunes, and when Jess Conda belts out “You’re wonderful!” in the final refrain to her searing version of David Bowie’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide,” you gotta believe it.