November 22, 2008 08:41pm
Lovelace: A Rock Opera
Source: LA Xpress
by: Company Press Release
''There is no future if in the present we fail to pay homage to the past.'' -Cinema Seen by William Margold
And while it’s not exactly homage that Anna Waronker, Charlotte Caffey and Jeffrey Leonard Bowman pay to the early days of X rated entertainment with Lovelace a Rock Opera---their demanding, dare I say ''hard to swallow'' creation is a ''Little Big Play'' resonating with aggressive and earnest energy, emotionally challenging songs, and a couple of remarkable performances.
Director Ken Sawyer is ''Fosse-sque'' in his 90-minute presentation that conjures up images of ''Sweet Charity'' ménage-a-trois-ing with ''Evita'' and ''Jesus Christ Superstar.''
As America’s restlessness with the corruption of those in charge of its destiny fought its way out of the Sixties and slammed its way into the Seventies, rebelling against society’s mores was no more evident than by those who choose to make explicit adult movies that depicted hardcore sexual activities. And among those leading the way was a lady who would become known as Linda Lovelace. Essentially allowing herself to become the property of a manipulative man named Chuck Traynor…Linda became famous. And the film---Deep Throat---which she performed in---became infamous.
Undulating with consummate evil, Jimmy Swan brings more dimensions of degradation and depravity to Traynor than I suspect the man himself possessed. Part snake oil salesman and part savior…Traynor was a man in the right place at the right time with the right product (Linda Lovelace)…and Swan resoundingly never lets us forget it.
Katrina Lenk is achingly evocative as Linda, enduring Hell to get a little piece of Heaven, and is blessed with a voice that unashamedly unlocks the tear ducts.
Whatever becomes of Lovelace a Rock Opera and wherever it winds up…the production must take Swan and Lenk with it.
For now however I am comforted by the fact that Lovelace a Rock Opera has extended its run at the Hayworth Theatre thru Dec. 21, (visit www.thehayworth.com for complete schedule information), which will hopefully allow me to see the unnerving Mr. Swan and the luminous Ms. Lenk ''at least'' one more time.
I would be ignoring my own past (and present) if I failed to mention my unique involvement---since 1971---in the adult entertainment industry---on virtually every level---ranging from actor to agent to activist---which, during its convoluted carnal course of actions and activities, placed me in contact with two of the major characters in the production: ''Deep Throat’s'' director Gerard Damiano and its male lead, Harry Reems.
(I handled some of the recently departed Damiano’s publicity back in 1976, and then worked for him as a hardcore performer in 1989. My dealings with Reems took place in 1986, and again in 1988, and they were of a providing temporary help nature.)
Because Traynor and Lovelace are such dominating characters throughout Lovelace a Rock Opera, Damiano (Alan Palmer) and Reems (Josh Greene) are smartly rendered as caricatures, and thankfully provide some very necessary moments of comic relief. Very necessary!
I would be denying my painfully accurate insight into the world of XXX, if I didn’t express the fact that the primary reason people (particularly females) enter the performing side of my business is for recognition. And if that means the bartering of their soul to gain immortality…then so be it. And as watched with that understanding of the fact that you’ve got to go all the way down if you to get all the way up in X…then you might come away from Lovelace a Rock Opera (www.lovelacerockopera.com) a little less damning of the adult entertainment industry. But since I refer to the adult industry as ''the Playpen of the Damned'' that might be expecting too much from an audience of hypocrites ''that jacks off to us with its left hand and then denies us with its right.''
I was invited to see Lovelace a Rock Opera by an ebullient gentleman named David Bertolino, whose own play---The Deep Throat Project---will be opening in New York next spring (www.DeepThroatThePlay.com).
Sort of validates my sentiment at the top of this page…doesn’t it?