Sex Crimes Cabaret

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Photo Source: Adrian Buckmaster
The titillating title is a bit of a misnomer. "Sex Crimes Cabaret" isn't quite a cabaret, nor is it about what people commonly mean by "sex crimes." The topic of the evening is the criminalization of sexuality, and in 55 minutes (plus a needless 15-minute intermission) L. Gabrielle Penabaz manages what so many teachers and artists before her have failed to do: make sex education fun and funny, smart and scary, even a little bit sexy.

The format is solid enough. A topic—miscegenation, sodomy, bestiality—is introduced with a video segment and followed by a live-action skit, a song, some performance art, or a combination of all the above. The did-you-know approach is frequently employed to great effect, though anyone who has seen Sarah Ruhl's vibrator play will indeed know some of the material.

Throughout, there's a commendable focus on landmark legal cases, deftly introduced, for example, with a mock gay porno film. An even better video imagines a conversation with a father (Patrick "Mangina" Bucklew) telling his son (Porno Jim Graham) he's about to get his first period. Good concept, well executed, but it's the banana-biting detail that sells the bit.

Oh, and in case such touches interest you, drink is available and encouraged, and most of Penabaz's big moments are adorned by two gyrating "GoGos": Kai Altair and Sarah Sparkles.

Presented by Collective: Unconscious as part of the Collective: Unconscious Winter Festival at Walkerspace, 46 Walker St., NYC. Dec 312. Thu.–Sat., 8 p.m. (212) 352-3101 or (866) 811-4111.

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