Who doesn’t love a good con? And If flesh, titillation and the prospect of sex is involved, all the better.
So we’ve got this turn of the (20th) century French erotic novel about a wildly heterosexual Parisian novelist who impersonates a lesbian Greek poet. Apparently this novel by Pierre Louÿs holds a place in the pantheon of Greek erotic literature.
Or counterfeit erotic literature as the case may be. From the news release:
“At the turn of the 20th-century, Louÿs captured the imaginations and libidos of the literary world when he penned an extensive collection of exquisite and sensuous poetry by a fabricated Greek courtesan named “Bilitis.” Holding a false place in the canon of classical Greek erotic literature for nearly ten years, 'Songs of Bilitis' became the world’s greatest work of counterfeit Greek erotica.”
And now – break out your raincoats!- “Songs of Bilitis” is a play opening this weekend at the Bootleg Theatre. Produced by the Rogue Artists Ensemble, “Bilitis” was originally commissioned through the Getty Villa in 2012. It played a brief run at South Coast Repertory’s Studio SCR series and now here comes the true world premiere.
Rogue Artists Ensemble is no run-of-the-mill troupe of players. Led by Artistic Director and UC Irvine graduate Sean Cawelti, the company tends to make very elaborate use of puppets, masks, movement and all things hyper-theatrical. I only recently discovered their work last year when I saw the very unusual “D is for Dog” and then I calendered the effort to get a new adaptation of “Pinocchio” which – expected funding in place – will hit the stage in the fall.
How they will employ puppets, visuals et al to recount spicy tale will be worth checking out. The play has an early curtain (7:30 p.m. Thursday- Saturday through March 30) and a quickie 90 minute running length. Check out the preview and some of the pictures on the Rogue website. Mature audiences only on this one for obvious reasons. 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856, www.bootlegtheater.org.
And on the subject of things not being entirely what they seem in the realm of the sensual, we have the West Coast premiere of Doris Baizley’s “Sexsting” continuing through April 14 at the Skylab Theatre Complex. Tony Award nominee Gregory Itzin (“The Kentucky Cycle,” “24”) and the usually excellent JD Cullum star in this “based-on-true-events” tale of an FBI agent (played by Itzin) who poses as a 14 year old girl on line in the hopes of nabbing a sexual predator, only to discover the line between fantasy and crime become uncomfortably blurred.
“Sexsting,” directed by Jim Holmes, launches the new season of the Kastelas Theatre Company. Bonnie Brewster, Danielle Marie Gavaldon, Christian Lynons and Carl Weintraub round out the cast. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sun.; through April 14 at 1816 ½ Vermont Ave. (702) 582-8587, http://www.katselastheatre.com