BWW Reviews: In COMING OUT KINKY, Jean Franzblau Honestly Portrays Both Sides of the BDSM World
Writer-performer Jean Franzblau had the first inkling that her emerging sexuality was out of the mainstream while she was growing on the playground, convincing other girls to follow her in tackling and kissing boys. Her older sister, who had a frank sexuality of her own, caused Jean at first to retreat from her sexual awareness, connecting that being sexual upset her parents so it was something she should not do. But when she finds her sibling's erotic literature about Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming, Jean begins to have other ideas. How can what makes you feel good be wrong?
Being young and attractive, one might think her path to love and lust might be a smooth one. Not quite so as her emotional neediness always seems to get in her way of real satisfaction. Jean comically goes through her many romances, including a very descriptive sexual relationship with one of her neighbors. Still there is something lacking, a deep need for fulfillment that Jean cannot seem to reach with any of her many lovers.
What makes her stories come alive is Franzblau's ability to inhabit each of the characters so completely that you really will feel there is more than just one person on the stage. With her lithe, dancer's body urging you to watch her every move, as she moves from lover to lover you truly will feel in the presence of Jean's body and soul as she journeys to find what truly pleases her sexual nature as well as her struggle to accept who she really is, no mater what her mother may think!
One evening, a new lover takes her to a private club where she is formally introduced to BDSM (bondage/domination/sadism/masochism). Amazed at the freedom she sees among consenting adults and that role-playing is as important as any physical act, Jean goes on to explore both the submissive and dominant sides of her own sexuality, ultimately finding the emotional, physical and political satisfaction she has not yet achieved elsewhere.
At the reception after the show, I spoke with Jean about the experience of bringing COMING OUT KINKY: A GROWN-UP STORY to the stage. While she appears totally free and at ease bringing the many characters to life during the performance, Jean was thrilled that tonight's audience was filled with like-minded free thinkers who laughed at references understood only by those in the BDSM scene. Jean admitted it was a struggle trying to honestly portray each man from both sides of their relationship. Then she introduced me to one of the real men from her past who had been in the audience, and he confirmed her sharing of their time together even opened his eyes to the truth as Jean experienced it. You can't get more real than that.
Special kudos go to Lighting Designer/Theater Technician Argent Lloyd who magically allows us to follow Jean's progress by creating physical passages from scene to scene through creative spot lighting.
Franzblau is a corporate trainer and keynote speaker, and invites you to learn more about her at www.kinkyjean.com and www.jeanfranzblau.com. A portion of the proceeds of the show will support Sex-Positive World, a non-profit organization dedicated to making the world a sexier, more touch-positive, heart-centered and connected place. Learn more at www.sexpositiveworld.org
COMING OUT KINKY: A GROWN-UP STORY
A World Premiere engagement of a new comedy, written, performed and produced by Jean Franzblau. Developed and directed by Karen Aschenbach. At the Promenade Playhouse, 1404 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401, Saturdays at 8:30pm and Sundays at 7:30pm on May 3, 4, 11, 18, 25, June 1 and June 8.
RESERVATIONS: (800) 838-3006.
ONLINE TICKETING: http://comingoutkinky.brownpapertickets.com
ESTIMATED RUNNING TIME: 70 minutes.
CONSUMER ADVISORY: Not for kids!
Photo credit: Benjamin Brooks