Reviewed by Vanessa Cate
Luciani’s Absolute Theater
Through June 24
Guido Luciani’s Debauchers claims to be a sensory-somatic theatrical experience in exploration of sexuality. The “sensory-somatic” component would be intriguing were it not so confined. While talking about his foot fetish, Luciani offers berries and cheese to some members of the audience. Nibbling on delicacies is an inventive way to communicate the sensual nature of a fetish (which I personally do not relate to). That, however, was basically the extent of the production’s 4D theatrical component. The remainder of the show is a collage of hard-to-follow poeticisms and rituals.
As for the subject matter: this devised work seems to make the argument that one can reach a form of sexual enlightenment that transcends morality. The piece seeks to humanize artists, deviants and murderers, romanticizing the latter in particular.
The choreography, while uncredited, is sometimes good but mostly executed ineptly. Direction (Luciani is credited as director) seems mostly non-existent, though the actors, bless them, really could have used it.
Some interesting theatrical innovations are on display: a serpentine red fabric circling a nude “Adam”; murder and art bleeding together as paint, signaling the life force, is shed at the stroke of a knife; a gorgeous collage of timeless sexuality (mostly obscured because of sight lines, but I had the one seat with a view of it). However, the execution of these devices was sloppy and immature overall.
Actors Company (The Little Theater) 916 N. Formosa Ave., Hollywood; http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/4426; Running time: Approximately 55 minutes.