In her new piece, Actress Fury, Jennie MaryTai Liu leads her audiences on an idiosyncratic tour of the female subconscious. Clad in sequined pastel leotards, Liu and co-performers Hannah Heller and Alexa Weir sing, narrate, and dance their way through an exploration of what it’s really like to be a girl, traversing territory that is often grotesque, but strangely charming.
On a bare stage dotted with tiny foam icebergs, the performers combine half-choreographed dance sequences with stream-of-consciousness vocalizations. Narrative passages evoke the pains and pleasures of being an ambitious person with a female body. We hear the story of a woman who appears to be living the dream — great job, loving husband, new pregnancy — only to have her body gorily betray her. Other sections of the loosely organized performance feature faux British accents and amorphous movement; in the best moments, Liu and company simply make lots of uninhibited noise.
Actress Fury doesn’t come off as a finished piece, and some of its deliberate messiness feels predictable, like a sequence where the show “stops” for a loud debate over what happens next. But it’s refreshing to see female performers being this bold. It left me wondering where Liu’s vision will take her next.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 5, 2014