The Philippines has a long & mangled history with Spain, the United States, and Japan taking the country by force from 1541-1946. It's a wonder that Pilipinos continue to thrive in that country as well as in other parts of the world.
Not such a wonder are the amazing talents of Bay Area Pilipino artists, including one of Bindlestiff Studio's resident performers Kat Evasco. Evasco premiered her one-woman show Mommy Queerest on Dec. 1st at Bindlestiff. Mommy Queerest is the latest offering from America's lone Pilipino Performing Arts Center located at San Francisco's SoMa (South of Market) district.
Evasco flourishes in the renovated and beautiful space for Bindlestiff with her solo performance. From her voiceover abbreviation of The Philippines' history told in less than three minutes to her incestuous relationships and to her coming out as a lesbian to her Pilipino family and friends, Evasco gives it her all with the shedding of many tears and plenty of laughter along the way throughout the show.
Mommy Queerest is a Bindlestiff Studio co-production with Guerrilla Rep and is written by Evasco & John Caldon under the stage direction of Caldon. Caldon and Evasco also designed the stage with a simple omnidirectional microphone and a sheet of white cloth for a backdrop, used as a projection screen throughout the performance within the black box setting.
The performance is mainly performed as a stand-up comedic show by Evasco with utilization of theatrical elements including projections and slideshows from back stage. And several lighting transitions through the different periods of Evasco's life from a rough childhood in the late 1980s-mid 1990s to the exciting changes in her mother's life as well as her own in modern day.
In Evasco's own words, "This show is half payback to my mom for making me come out for both of us and half love letter to her for making me who I am. She's terrified I'm exposing every skeleton in our family closet --- and she should be. I might be Filipina-American, but cultural silence is non-existent in my world, so like an eager exhibitionist I'm letting it all hang out."
Though the literary piece is still in the workshop stages, it already holds much promise. Showcasing Evasco's talents certainly is the focus, but with additional actors for the characters of her mother; her cousins; and her two lovers from high school and college to interact with, Evasco could certainly display more of her repertoire. And with the additions of these actors, the play could be expanded to a two-hour full length piece.
Mommy Queerest will make you laugh and cry within seconds of each emotion throughout the 90-minute show. It is truly an emotional roller coaster ride that certainly no small child should watch without parental guidance as mature s and sexual displays are simulated without hesitation.
Bindlestiff Studio hosts Kat Evasco's Mommy Queerest from Dec. 1-17, 2011 performing Thur. through Sat. @ 8 pm at 185-6th St, San Francisco, CA 94103. Tickets range from $15-$25 per person. For more information, call 1-800-838-3006 or click on the links below:
Bindlestiff Studio: http://www.bindlestiffstudio.org/?q=node/652
Brown Paper Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/209087