Fightin'! Punchin'! Face-kickin'! Throat-stabbin'! Ass-whuppin'! Mud-wrasslin'! YEAA-HEAAH!
Thelma and Louise ain't nothin' compared to Chicks With Dicks! Trista Baldwin's girl-gang, great-American-highway biker epic is like an estrogen-packed, skull-splitting mosh-pit on steroids!
Chicks, at Bricolage Theatre, is exploitation at its funnest and exploitationest! You get a bunch of hot mamas with such unholy nomenclature as Dixie, Varla, Chantalle, Kitten, Dirty Di and Vespa DeAmore, and they ride some sweet choppers and smack each other around and pantomime all kinds of girl-on-girl action! And then, to round out the anarcho-femichaos, somebody launches into a thesis on the semiotics of hardcore womyn in a male-dominated society! YEE-HAAAW!
And every time somebody throws a nose-crunching punch, Brad Peterson's sound design complements the movement with an anime-style smack! And when Dana Hardy (as Varla) sucks down a beer, crushes the can against her pregnant belly, hurls the can behind her back and belches like a sauced linebacker, there's a sound cue for every darn movement! How in tarnation does Peterson pull it off? How does the cast synchronize such a complex combination of sound and fisticuffs? Practice, amigos! Lots and lots o' practice!
You could go around sayin' that Gayle Pazerski's go-go dancing is a side-splittin' sight to see; or that Lissa Brennan (a CP contributor) is damned terrifying as Dixie, the villainous bikertrix; or that Lisa Ann Goldsmith is convincingly badass as the chutzpah-infused leader of the pack who eventually succumbs to nuclear radiation and watches an inhuman love-muscle pop out o' her noggin' -- and it'd all be true, even if you have to watch Chicks to have any idea what the heck this all means!
But the truly star-spangled part of Chicks is that it's a full-evening experience: A band plays beforehand (a different one every night, although it don't get louder or harder than last week's female-fronted Motorpsychos); there's a bona-fide hog in the lobby, with side-car, for picture-takin'; and there's a caseful of pop and booze to get your gears lubricated! This ain't no ordinary Bricolage production, but its spankin'-new "Midnight Radio" series, which explains the show's special after-curfew hour (10 p.m.) and subversive, hellion atmosphere! You think theater's just a weep-session for sweater-clad yups? You won't hear more officially encouraged hootin' and hollerin' from an audience at a demolition derby! HOO-HAH!
Hats off to Tami Dixon (director and producer) and Jeffrey Carpenter (artistic director), the mom and pop of the Bricolage operation! In the whole Steel City, there ain't nothing like "Midnight Radio," that's for damn skippy!
Chicks With Dicks continues through Nov. 29. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-681-6999 or www.webbricolage.org