Natural Herstory

I've seen the face of lesbian camp: she's the frumpy, obsessive museum guide who leads audiences through Sharon Hayes's meditation on American dyke cultures, The Lesbian (DTW). The mixed- media solo show is a delightful semi-autobiographical account of the three months Hayes spent road-tripping across the U.S., interviewing women and collecting, in mock zoological fashion, artifacts of "the lesbian in her natural habitat"— presented here as a tour through the Museum Dedicated to the Natural History of the Lesbian. As Hayes-the-tour-guide climbs on furniture, delights over trivia, and does interpretive push-ups, Hayes-the-artist shows herself to be a tremendous storyteller, witty and shrewd and heavy all at once. With help from the lighting and visual designs of Philip W. Sandström and Kristine Woods, the lesbian noises and beliefs that stretch across Hayes's stage are ultimately a reflection, not on queer community, but on collective isolation.

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