Sally Sockwell in IN HEAT. Photo by Liz Liguori.
BOTTOM LINE: The comedic talent of writers Lisa Haas, Jocelyn Sawyer, and Sally Sockwell, combined with Sockwell's performance, create a consistently humorous piece that audiences of all sexual orientations can appreciate.
In this satirical one woman show, a 50-something lesbian named Doris Anderson (Sally Sockwell) explores the pitfalls of being a proud lesbian in an era in which the term lesbian may be rendered obsolete. Sockwell informs the audience that instead of taking on the lesbian label many women now take on such labels as queer, bisexual, aggs, trans man, tranny fag, gender queer, and many others. She explores such articles as one from Time Out New York, which omits the term "lesbian" in favor of the more trendy and contemporary labels. Sockwell gives a lecture on the many differing type of lesbians that have emerged wandering off into such humorous commentary as noting her attraction to "hip hop aggs." (Sockwell notes, "if one of them said to me, 'Yo bitch, get in the car!' I probably would.") She also tackles the more dated and yet still confusing lesbian labels of femme, butch, stone cold butch, and soft butch.
Noting that the lesbians may be a dying breed, Doris has a created the Self-Identified Lesbian Community Center as a place where the many lesbians in the city can find support in whatever form they may need. The center is placed cleverly near a cat clinic, and Doris notes that lesbians go out so rarely that it's best to catch them when they're bringing in their cats. She also calls out Ilene Chaiken for creating unrealistic expectations for lesbians by portraying gorgeous lesbians that have endless sums of money and yet are never seen working in her shows The L Word and The Real L Word. Doris later takes to her cable access show's phone hotline to take calls from lesbians looking for dating advice (she hangs up on any bisexuals who dare call in). She also later warns women of a certain dating site user who likes to play games but never actually meet up with any women.
Overall, In Heat succeeds in being consistently funny. It loses a bit of steam half way through, but the jokes are ceaseless. Those of all sexual orientations and genders will surely find something laugh inducing in this clever, satirical play.
(In Heat plays at the Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond Street, through August 25, 2012. Remaining performance is August 25th at 2PM. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door. To purchase tickets visit fringenyc.org. For more show info visit in-heat.com.)