With a Fringe Festival containing a plethora of shows that run the theatrical gamut from absurd comedy to overblown drama, who doesn’t love a show with free boob cupcakes at the end?
Performed by what can only be described as a sexually-ragtag gaggle of men and women, Uncorseted aims to take the audience on a lascivious, campy romp through sexual boundaries and gender norms, all in the context of the 1893 Chicago World Fair. Sound like a challenging endeavor for a half hour show? It is.
From the moment the show’s Vaudevillian Barker enters the stage and presents the hermaphroditic and lesbianic cast to the audience, Uncorseted takes the audience through a series of often-times convoluted vignettes that twist and turn on themselves while attempting to weave a loose story. The show has a writhing energy, which seems only fitting; one of the most enjoyable moments of this sexually charged show is a he-she orgy scene in the bedchamber of Countess Cornelia (played by the sensually disturbing Monti Gilmore). Amidst the tangle of legs, fake breasts, and double entendres, it is nearly impossible to tell how many participants are actually involved.
The fake and bountiful bosoms of the cast are jaw-dropping and worth mentioning in and of themselves; each hedonistic hermaphrodite comes fully loaded with gigantic, crude breasts that somehow manage to avoid appearing vulgar for vulgarity’s sake. Instead, the gargantuan mammaries are the visual gag that never gets old.
This campy romp contains heart and spirit where it lacks skillful execution, but even its absurd and interesting premise regretfully cannot totally make up for the production’s lack of cohesive acting.
However, if you’re looking for a fringey show, they don’t come much fringier than this; this show has boob jokes and dildo del’Arte slapstick up the wazoo, and enough double entendres to make even the most avid punster a little green. It is also a show that is perhaps best viewed at night, after a drink or two. Seeing this show in the light of day left something to be desired and seemed a bit out of place.