I found myself asking this question quite a few times when I came to see this Tjasa Ferme one woman show as part of the Flying Solo Festival at The Secret Theater. Literally, this theater is somewhat secret since you have to go outside to the back in order to get to the main “box office.” At first, I wondered if this show was going to be performed outside.
Having seen Ferme’s show Cocktails: Confessions of a Nymphomaniac, I figured we would be in for a real treat and I was absolutely right. This show was hilarious and entertaining from beginning to end.
A word of caution: if you are not into an interactive show, you will not enjoy this. If you feel uncomfortable being put on the spot in front of people or having performers speak to you, you would not enjoy yourself here. This is not a one woman show for the meek or the shy; let me also point out that if you are unfamiliar with Ferme’s prior show, you have no business being here if you are of a Puritanical sensibility. In other words, this is one of those shows that epitomizes the great underground work you will find in New York City.
The beginning of this show did take place outside. Ferme runs up, apologizing for being late, and then we go into the theater. She then proceeds to tell us what’s happened in her current situation, even showing us a television news clip about her apartment being broken into. She changes clothes, asks an audience member to do her hair, soaks her feet, all types of activities that a frazzled woman would do in her normal life. She tells us the show is going to start in five minutes since there are technical issues going on.
Personally, if I find myself asking whether we are watching a show or not it is a true credit and testament to the performers. As it continued, the show got even crazier. There’s full audience participation, Ferme asking an audience member to film her while she’s speaking with the image projected behind her on the stage, stories about “The Penis Tree,” musings on just what dating in New York City really is and numerous demonstrations of Ferme’s absolute fearlessness as a performer. She is a multi-talent with the ability to do a full split and even did some disrobing onstage, which I give her a lot of credit for. Many people do not have the dedication to the art and their craft as Ferme seems to have. In a world of political correctness and so many trying not to offend, disturb or bother others, it is refreshing to see a brave performer dedicated to her art.
This show was absolutely worth the trip to Long Island City and if it is any indication of the other performers and content in the Flying Solo Festival, I hope The Secret Theater will continue putting on this festival for many years to come.