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.