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The Well of Horniness

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I’m George Walker, The Well of Horniness at the IU Theatre plays through Saturday Oct 2 with an all-girl cast directed by RJ Hodde.  Scenic design is by Rachel Rose Burke.  Costume design is by Jerilyn Lanier-Duckworth.

Thursday night I arrived early for the general seating in the Wells-Metz Theatre. I read the booklet and starred at the set. The set is a major part of the evening’s action. On the right and left are antique street lamps. On the left there’s a phone booth and on the right a brightly lit sign for Cocktails and Dreams. There’s a stair-case on the left that leads up to a balcony. Over on the right Amia Korman presides and primps as the evening’s Conspirator.

The Well of Horniness is based on the feminist Bible from 1928, The Well of Loneliness by Radalyffe Hall. It opened with a mixed cast in 1983 and has been going strong ever since. Holly Hughes the author is pleased to say that each year it has had a production somewhere.

“Equal parts film noir, postmodern romp, and low-blow glee, The Well of Horniness is a camp-fueled cliff hanger featuring libidinous lesbians, licentious ladies and mysterious men (the mystery) they’re actually women in a who-done-it case you won’t want to solve.”

Director RJ Hodde has decided to make this an all-girl show. I think it might have been better with a mixed cast. Jayne Deely plays Garnet McClit in a stylish tweed suit and introduces the show. Our narrators are Amanda Fawell, Helen Krizman and Maya Owens. Amanda is the tall graceful one. Maya is the one most left out and Helen, is the clown of the three.

Rod, Taylor Harmon is the proprietor of the local bath-mat shop. He went on about his product for a bit too long for me. Later he introduces his wife Georgette, Sophie Salesky to Vicky, Leah Mueller and is blissfully unaware that Georgette is have the time of her life with Vicky’s tongue.

Later, its Al Dente, Zoe Swisher as the police chief who visits with Rod and later directs the investigation.

Meanwhile, the set is really cooking. Babs, Carolyn Sanchez plays many roles. She’s the hat check girl, the nurse and later the dominatrix for Garnet McClit and Don. The set, by Rachel Rose Burke, gets quite a work out with its colorful appearance and its many doors. It also doubles as a table for Don and Al Dente.

Following the intermission…we were introduced to a “peaceful New England-town , where murder and depravity are welcome…” Apparently Georgette has been murdered and this is the act where with the chief Al Dente, we’re going to solve the mystery.

The Narrators, remember them…all have baby racoons and surround a garbage can. Georgette, remember her, is looking for a candy bar and apparently finds it. Vicky, the exercise lady seems to have lost her memory and the Doctor, Catherine O’Connor is going to help her find it. Vicky is bundled onto a hospital sized stretcher and trundled off to the left .

The finding takes place on the left upper balcony with the doctor and the nurse, Caroline Sanchez again, helping. It’s an extended scene with the doctor apparently hypnotizing himself. This doesn’t seem to help. Vicky’s memory doesn’t seem to come back and we retreat to the floor.

 

At this point I began to wish that I was back in the first act with the extended “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by the narrators.

Babs, has a gun and seems to be threatening Don, who’s handcuffed and perhaps Garnet McClit. Up above over on the right of the balcony, Amia Korman as the Conspirator,  remember her, is holding forth with various sound effects and balloon poppings.

The Well of Horniness  by Holly Hughes, directed by RJ Hodde, at the IU Wells-Metz Theatre plays through Saturday October 2

At the theatre for you, I’m George Walker

The campy version by Holly Hughes in 1983  of the feminist Bible from 1928 by Ralalyffe Hall
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