The Austin Chronicle

Arts Review

Theatre Review

Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, October 29, 2004, Arts

Ajax (por nobody)

Church of the Friendly Ghost, through Nov. 6

Far be it from your listings crew to recommend a staged reading, right? Especially with all the full productions already going on in this town, right? But we just got back from seeing Ajax (por nobody), Alice Tuan's sick & twisted work of brilliance as presented by Salvage Vanguard Theater, and we're damned if we don't start clanging bells and blowing horns and urging you to go and see it.

Of course, you have to like porn. Or, at least, you have to not mind porn. Because the story's about two porn actresses (played by Etta Sanders and Karinna Perez) who decide to have a little party with two porn actors (played by Shannon McCormick and Jude Hickey). And the hijinks that ensue aren't cute or ironic or tongue-in-cheek but, rather, what you might expect to see if a video's rated X. Or maybe triple-X.

Hoo boy.

This is why the script's only been read, not staged, when it's played different parts of the country.

And yet – it's funny. In a perverse and utterly bleak sort of way, like a malignant tumor on your genitals that forms itself into the shape of a smiley face, it's funny as hell. And, especially with the intense, galvanizing performances by this SVT troupe (which also features Lee Eddy reading stage directions in a, well, a sex-drenched voice), it's a show you don't want to miss.

Listen: Somewhere out there, in the vast world of art, there lurks a vile plague known to mortals as Thomas Kinkade. This is its antidote.

Through Nov. 6. Thu.-Sat., 8pm. Church of the Friendly Ghost, 209 Pedernales, 474-SVT-6. $10.

Copyright © 2019 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.