Porno Death Cult at the Firehall (Guest Review, March 5, 2014)

Porno Death Cult at the Firehall (Guest Review, March 5, 2014)

Struggling with, and tormented by, her religious beliefs, a middle-aged Irish woman experiments with several spiritual ideas in order to free herself from her own guilt and, presumably, lack of sexuality.

Porno Death Cult delves into the cultish behaviour of religion, spirituality and holistic practices. Absent however were the “Porno” and “Death” though the performance’s provocative title is a splendid marketing technique that, undoubtedly, assisted in a Sold Out opening night.

In this one-woman show, Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg portrays Maureen who dabbles in many religious traditions and philosophical customs. This transformation between the varying beliefs is often delusional; likely a cause of her New Age diet where she has foresworn “meat, dairy, nuts, legumes and fruit” but begrudgingly allows herself “to lick the condensation from the bathroom window.”

Prancing around during controllable, albeit neurotic palsies (signs of being protein-deprived), Maureen fluctuates between Catholic, Fundamentalist, Yogic and Hare Krishna teachings. Her confusion also stems from not having attended Confession in 41 years, because she’s Jewish.

Culminating in her own personal crucifixion after the disappointment of Jesus declining an invitation to her house party – a festivity for which she prepared by lighting 350 differently scented candles providing a combination of “Bed Bath & Beyond meets hockey equipment meets The Vatican” – Maureen eventually questions the validity of her spiritual path of enlightenment.

Obviously a woman in need of love and romance, Maureen helps her own cause by dropping the self-imposed guilt. She would certainly do herself a bigger favour by ridding herself of what is the worst bra/panties/knee pads set a woman could wear.
Porno Death Cult runs at The Firehall (280 East Cordova St.) through Saturday, March 8.

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