Kitty Neptune laps up the attention in Neon Nightz.
NEON NIGHTZ by Sasha Van Bon Bon and Kitty Neptune (Buddies in Bad Times). To October 10. See listing. Rating: NNN
For local sex advice columnist Sasha Van Bon Bon's autobiographical account of stripping in mid-90s Montreal, Buddies has transformed its mainspace into a skin bar, complete with two towering poles and a pervert's row.[rssbreak]
Van Bon Bon relates funny and philosophical memoirs separated by full-on strip sessions during which Kitty Neptune (and later Van Bon Bon herself) get naked portraying various peelers from the Montreal scene.
In monologues, Van Bon Bon shares first-hand accounts of political shifts in her occupation. She candidly reveals hidden class struggles between opportunistic student strippers ("Simone de Beavers") and more pragmatic careerists, and catalogues the ill effects of private dancing's move from the distanced gaze of the table to the vulnerability of the patron's lap.
These intriguing intellectual strokes are balanced by funnier fare about dealing with prima donna "feature dancers" and awkwardly stripping for her old Grade 8 math teacher.
The show misses in its attempt to connect stripping to Catholic confession, but the biggest problem is that despite her moxie, Van Bon Bon's a better writer than performer. At times her lines flow off-the-cuff, but at others she's obviously working to remember, which is problematic because great bits she's crafted to sound conversational come out as clunky recitation.