Saturday, January 21, 2017

PuSh 2017: Dynasty Handbag

Last night, following the conclusion of By Heart at Performance Works (which ran far longer than the 75 minutes advertised in the PuSh program), I hopped in a cab and hurried to Club PuSh at the Fox Cabaret for the annual pop-up venue's opening by Dynasty Handbag, aka Jibz Cameron, a queer performance and video artist from Los Angeles.

Why had I not heard of this woman before? Looking like a cross between Freddy Krueger and Faye Dunaway from Mommie Dearest, Dynasty took to the stage following a hilarious opening video parody of Madonna's "Vogue," and dove head-first into her repertoire of postmodern (and post-gender) vaudeville: a mix of excoriating comic monologues ("no more white babies!") and song parodies that are delivered in Dynasty's signature style of antic physicality and barely intelligible gibberish. What Cameron can do with her voice is absolutely astonishing and even when you can't quite understand what she's saying, you nevertheless lean in to her physicality, responding on a visceral bodily level to the urgency of her comedy.

Indeed, as she suggested via her incomparable set last night (which included much discussion about whether she should move to Canada--or Berlin), there may be no better antidote to a Donald Trump as US President than the kind of in your face lesbian camp that Dynasty delivers. To that end, check out her website and check out the makeup tutorial she has posted there as a way of surviving a fascist dictatorship.


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