“Does anyone have a bike helmet?” Ok! I must admit that when James Kutil asked the audience this question the first thought that ran through my head was, I thought they’d be talking about a different type of protection at a production from a group called “Bench Press Burlesque.”
Sadly, James’ plea for a helmet went unanswered. However the show went on.
The politically and religiously irreverent burlesque performance was sexy, bold and hilarious. Not many performances can keep on audience laughing after making informed commentary on Christianity and the Moral Majority, Israeli/U.S. foreign policy, the empowerment of women, and safe sex.
This display of politically charged fabulosity may however not appeal to the more puritanical. Theoretically, having someone who looks like Jesus coming out on stage, having his clothes removed, revealing S/M gear, then being handcuffed to a crucifix and whipped could be interpreted as disrespectful or offensive by some, however I like to think that offending certain people is the responsibility of an act that describes itself as a “radical multi-gendered, sex-positive, feminist feast of political performance art.”
Although it is obviously a low-budget performance, Bench Press is still an amazing experience that engages and simulates the audience, that has the added benefit of being hilarious at times, and even though some of the skits fell a little short, overall the performance was mind-blowing. Besides, who would pass up the chance to see a show that ends with an on stage dance party?