This Friday, April 2, gender-bending, Boston-based performer Johnny Blazes will present "wo(n)man" show at the St. Lawrence Arts Center (8 pm; tix are $12). The show contains themes worked out in a conversation between Blazes and local activist/artist Katie Diamond; not only did Blazes incorporate those ideas into the semi-narrative, cabaret-style variety show, but the pair also used them to create a comic that will be published in Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, a Seal Press anthology, edited by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman (hitting the streets at the end of August).
"Many of the same conversations, dialogues, feelings, and visuals became
incorporated into the comic version, and the stage," Diamond explains. "While 'wo(n)man show' is not
a direct performance of the comic, similar themes of genderism, sexism, wearing
tutus, being called by the wrong pronoun... These are all foundational for both
the two-dimensional story as well as the variety show."
"[B]oth pieces interweave personal narratives to talk about arrival at a certain
understanding of gender," Blazes adds in an email. "These narratives are intrinsic to talking about gender
because they are both distinctly autobiographical (and therefore personal) and
at the same time far-reaching or even universal, as they are re-tellings of
stories that people of many different genders have told me and continue to tell
me every time I do the show."