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PEACHES DOES HERSELF (Peaches). 80 minutes. Friday (May 24), 9:15 pm, TIFF 2.
INSIDE OUT: TORONTO LGBT FILM FESTIVAL at TIFF Bell Lightbox from today (Thursday, May 23) to June 2. $6-$13, galas $17-$30. See Indie & Rep Film. insideout.ca. Rating: NNN
While it doesn’t truly break free of its stage origins until the delightful coda, Peaches Does Herself is a solid recording of the maverick rocker’s Berlin cabaret show – a transgressive odyssey into the psyche of the artist formerly known as Merrill Nisker.
Starting with her teenage discovery of both beats and beating off, Peaches reimagines her musical evolution as a Frankenstein creation myth by way of Paul Bartel, surrounding herself with pansexual dancers and fusing New Wave and punk iconography into a new, possibly uncontrollable beast with a raging libido and a need to sing her balls off. (It makes sense in context.)
The interludes with burlesque performer Sandy “The Naked Cowgirl” Kane are clearly there to cover for costume changes and don’t work on the screen as well as they did onstage, but they’re brief interruptions in an otherwise tight show.