State of the Arts
The hilarity! The costumes! The singing! The “verbing”! Did we mention the costumes? Handmade and changed onstage before audiences on two continents? While Janice Perry is “in continent” (har har), she lives in Vergennes without disturbing the peace too much and, sadly, without performing locally very often. But the comedienne who’s made a career of being brilliantly outrageous and outrageously funny, primarily in Europe, has just put together a retrospective DVD that’s a no-brainer stocking stuffer for local fans. And, by the way, the jokes are all American. Imagine a song penned by Perry and sung by (her channeling) Marilyn Monroe, Joan Armatrading and Cyndi Lauper. Picture an Andrew Lloyd Webber-style musical about Joan of Arc.
Perry, aka “Gal,” wove together 55 minutes of vignettes from her shows, mainly from the 1980s and ’90s (does that portend a sequel from more recent work?). Be warned that Not Just Another Pretty Face is adult fare — the “uncensored content” on the disc is a clue. But even Perry’s grown-up humor, such as wearing a giant pink schlong to demonstrate poses in Robert Mapplethorpe’s naked-men photographs (censored by longtime Republican Sen. Jesse Helms, as some readers will recall) is so silly you almost want to share it with the kids.
The packaging of Perry’s disc touts some of her best one-liner reviews: “A cross between Doris Day and a high-velocity rifle” from the Independent of London; “One of the world’s most respected performance artists,” from BBC Radio. The word from Seven Days? Get this thing while supplies last.