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Capital Fringe 2014 Review: ‘That Kind of Girl’

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(Best of the Capital Fringe)
“It takes a long time to write words about my body that taste good on my tongue,” espouses Natalie Piegari, one of the many talented women who created That Kind of Girl. If it took a long time, the time was well spent, and if the words taste good, it is a palpable sensation. This show, part sketch comedy, part experimental text/dance, part lecture, and part open expression of vulnerabilities, was developed by the company at the University of Maryland, where all the girls worked together to share their own true stories of growing up in a theatrical format.
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The topic of the night is women empowerment. The cast confronts societal taboos regarding cat calling, white privilege, periods, rape, lesbian identity, orgasms, gender stereotypes, and more. These ideas are well suited to humorous sketches like game shows, mock trials, a teenage sleepover, and TSA procedures, among others. Bouncing back and forth between tongue-in-cheek and dreadfully serious, these sketches showcase the actresses’ abilities to role play as well as deliver truths with an inspiring confidence and voracity.

All six women play themselves in all the sketches, and reveal their personal truths quickly on the heels of embodying the stereotypes and characterizations that pervade our world. Director Jocelyn Knazik accomplishes a slick, polished hour of vignettes that effortlessly breathe and ebb and flow. The ensemble’s simple, synchronized movements sprinkled throughout the evening echo the many trains of thoughts, flowing through each performer like lightning. Each actress seemed to share an energy and spirit with each other while also maintaining a fiery individualism that pierces through the fourth wall.

Each performer/individual/actor trades off being themselves and acting in scenes with others. With strong performances throughout, some additional mention is deserved for Emma Lou Hebert (additionally credited with the original conceit of the piece), Anna Lynch, and Nadia Mohebban whose strengths in characterization, delivering text, and fearless honesty shone through.

With scenes ranging from an orgasm party to intimate descriptions of rapes to searching for female role models, That Kind of Girl is “that kind of show” but Pussy REP performs it with precision and excellence, and infuses every minute with words of empowerment for future generations of women.

Running Time: 60 minutes.

That Kind of Girl plays through July 26, 2014 at Gearbox -1021 7th Street, NW, 3rd floor, in Washington, DC. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to their Capital Fringe Page.

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