The Sama Kutra

Sama KustraPromoThe Sama Kutra has been described as a cross between 50 Shades of Grey and Cirque de Soleil. It’s an adult-themed clown show, you see, and involves a long-married couple desperate to spice up their love lives who stumble across a mystical guide to romance.

The title, of course, is a play on the classic Indian sex and relationship manual The Kama Sutra which dates back to 400 BCE. And since the two performers (co-writers Jacqueline Russell and Jed Tomlinson) are in clown costumes as per the above publicity photo, you can imagine the comedic possibilities they are able to mine.

The Regina stop for this Calgary-based Fringe Act is being presented by Hectik Theatre. It runs at the Artesian from Sept. 29-Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. The first night is a pay-what-you-will preview performance, and tickets for the next four nights are $25. Find out more on the Artesian website.

Weekly Reckoning: Let’s Do This Edition

weekly-reckoningAlright! Who’s with me on this reckoning thing? I’m feeling good today and I don’t care who knows it! Because it’s not important information! Keep reading!

WELL THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG Darian Durant ruptured his left Achilles tendon in yesterday’s 30-26 loss against the Winnipeg Boobobbers. Aaaand he’s done for the season, which must be a disappointment for fans, except for that one weird friend of yours who’ll say something like “Now this gives the Riders a chance to discover their strengths” as he gnaws off his own foot in despair.

IF YOU WANT SOMETHING DONE RIGHT South Carolina is poised to discuss the removal of the Confederate flag from its legislative grounds, but it wasn’t happening fast enough to suit activist and all-around badass Bree Newsom, who climbed the pole and took it down herself. For a brief moment, Newsom herself became a human flag as she reached the top of the pole and removed the Stars and Bars from its traditional position. Did she contemplate the oddity of that unwitting transformation? This is probably beside the point.

THEY ALSO FOUND AN ISIS OUTPOST LURKING IN A BOOK OF EGYPTIAN MYTHOLOGY JUST WAITING TO STRIKE CNN recently ran a hot story about an ISIS flag being flown at a London pride parade. It turned out to be pictures of dildos and assorted sex toys.

EAST GERMAN COMMUNIST DOLLHOUSES! East! German! Communist! Dollhouses!

SOMETHING HANDY THIS WAY COMES Ray Bradbury’s demolished house has been converted into 451 sets of bookends and sold to help support the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University.

LBGT Recognition And The Commercial Factor

Please note: this was written before the Supreme Court of the United States proclaimed today that allowing gay Americans the right to marry is the law of the land. It’s not often anybody has said this in years, but … Good on America. We’ll probably have more to say about that later.

Saskatoon’s mayor and the worst-dressed politician in Saskatchewan, Don Atchison, heads for Rob Ford territory as he runs out of reasons not to take part in the Pride Flag raising at City Hall, leaving many in the culturally sophisticated city wondering how they elected a city council that thinks they live in Rosetown. Meanwhile Moose Jaw – a city overrun with Bible-thumpers since the Ku Klux Klan ran the hookers out of town in 1927 – had its own Pride Parade.
Regina’s event, which went Saturday, boasted not only 50 floats and participation from unions, human rights groups, businesses, supporters, and some political parties, but also an appearance by a two metre tall, pants-less Richardson ground squirrel, otherwise known as the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ sideline mascot, Gainer the Gopher. This is as big an endorsement from the Old Regina Families as having the Lieutenant Governor lead the crowd in a rendition of the Village People’s ‘YMCA’ from the premier’s balcony at the Legislative Building.
Almost a quarter century after Regina city council tried to undo its first ever gay pride week proclamation (and we owe a massive debt to the late Joe McKewen, the city councilor who refused on principle to give the unanimous council consent to overturn the proclamation), Regina – at least official Regina – is as far away from the bigoted philosophy of Bill Whatcott as the city is from Whatcott’s current residence, somewhere in the Philippines.
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No Strip Club For You, Regina

Many of you are either very relieved or really annoyed because Regina isn’t getting a strip club. Not yet anyway, because City Council voted down an application to open such a club at 1047 Park St last night. Apparently the vote came in 9-1 with the overwhelming majority of delegates showing up to speak against it. Who knew Regina City Council had it in them to overturn an otherwise air-tight business application after city administration had already recommended they approve it? So, why did they vote it down? A few councilors made points about the “value of human dignity” and “respect for women” but does anyone really buy that? There’s plenty of evidence to prove Regina isn’t especially interested in either of those things. Frankly, the decision feels a little patronizing. But it’s also something of a relief.

Personally, I don’t like where this club was slated to open – nothing against the neighbourhood itself, but the idea of having the only strip club in the city* located in the middle an industrial area that sees few pedestrians is very out of sight, out of mind. Of course, according to the city’s bylaws, it’s the only place where it legally could go – which is just weird. And punitive. And potentially dangerous. Relegating the women who work in this industry to a part of the city where no one can hear them scream should give everyone the creeps.

Regardless of how you feel about strip clubs, have you ever noticed that, in other cities, they’re always in denser areas? Sometimes you find them out near airports (the Landing Strip in Toronto, for example, is out near Pearson International – the entrance is is actually constructed from part of an old airplane fuselage). But most are much more centrally-located. In Montréal, they’re on Sainte-Catherine, and Rue de la Montagne. In Toronto, they’re on Yonge or Dundas. They’re easy to find, easy to hail cabs outside, and the surrounding area is always well lit. As Councillor Shawn Fraser pointed out, Regina needs to acknowledge that it has a sex industry to begin with before something like this can work well here. And, at the moment, no one wants to talk about regulation. We’ve had underaged prostitutes and massage parlours operating in this city for years, offering up a lot of very marginalized young women (and girls), and the most that is seriously discussed is how to keep them out of our neighbourhoods. The city seems to have a bizarrely hands-off approach to these businesses. Instead, they’d rather change the subject and make this about something it isn’t (Respect for women? Please.).

When Mick Jagger called this place the “city that rhymes with fun”, he was kidding. Regina doesn’t want to talk about sex at all. It gets too embarrassed. At this point, it’s clear that Regina cannot handle a strip club. But if it ever does wind up with one, why not put it where we can see it? How about that little stretch on Dewdney with all the bars (where there’s some nightlife and foot traffic already)? But that’s Regina for you: always reluctant to revisit bylaws. Oh, Regina.

 

* Dancers (the now-defunct alcohol-prohibited strip club housed in a Quonset hut near the heavy oil upgrader), was in that neck of the woods too. Carle Steel wrote about it back in 2008 for Prairie Dog’s Equity Report (and you should give it another read, because it’s really good). In it, Carle wrote “If (downtown) got a strip club before we got a grocery store, I think I would have to move.”

Carle moved anyway.

 

Nymphomaniac I & II

Written and directed by Lars von Trier (Dogville, Melancholia), this two-part psycho-sexual drama stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac named Joe. As the film opens, a Danish bachelor (Stellan Skarsgard) finds Joe badly beaten in an alley. He takes her back to his apartment, where he tends to her injuries. As she begins to recover she recounts her conflicted sexual history to him

Nymphomaniac screens Thursday and Friday night at RPL Film Theatre. Vol. I screens at 7 p.m. on both nights, and Vol. II screens at 9 p.m. To give you a sense of what to expect here’s the trailer:

Weekly Reckoning: The Captain America Sequel Was Pretty Cool Edition

weekly-reckoningAnd that’s how you review a movie in the title of a blog post (for a proper review, read Jorge’s take on Captain America in the current issue). On with the aggregation, which fulfills the Internet’s function as a gigantic virtual washing machine that agitates and agitates the information without ever quite getting the stuff clean.

1. MAYBE WE’LL GET TO VIEW ALL OF THE POPE’S DOODLES IN THE MARGINS OF HIS ZANE GREY PAPERBACKS The Vatican Apostolic Library, which has taken notice of that thing of which Peter Mansbridge once said, “it’s called Internet,” is digitizing an impressive 41 million pages of documents from its library. That’s 82,000 manuscripts, people.

2. NATURALIST PETER MATHIESSEN RETURNS HIS COMPONENTS TO NATURE Peter Mathiessen, who wrote some of the greatest books on nature (as well as some kick-ass novels) I’ve  been had the pleasure of reading, died on Saturday at the age of 86. He’s probably best known for The Snow Leopard, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse and the novel At Play in the Fields of the Lord.  You can read some of his work for free right over at The New Yorker.

3. OMG GUYZ TEH SEX ON TEH CABLE TEVELISHUN Salon.com, the once informative and enjoyable site now reduced to a species of dreary leftist clickbait, is worried about all the sex on the new season of Game of Thrones. To be fair, the article seems as weary of the topic as the rest of us. But there’s an interesting notion buried in the article about the creative latitude involved in adapting George R.R. Martin’s work (which can be summarized thusly: “Can we stage this scene with everyone naked? How about just the woman naked? Can we turn it into a bloodbath then? Okay.”).

4. CHANCES ARE YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A COMPLETE JOKE OF A PRESIDENT George W. Bush, who is not done embarrassing us all with his presence on Earth, has  started painting portraits of world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair and Angela Merkel.

5. BUT WHAT ARE THOSE SEASHELLS FOR? This isn’t news, exactly, but I’m fascinated by Japanese toilets and their advanced butt-cleaning technology. So is the author of this article. Maybe he’s a little too fascinated? You be the judge. Maybe North Americans are too horrified by excretion to lend additional pleasure and comfort to the act.

Venus In Fur

Set in New York, this comedy-drama by David Ives sees a writer-director named Thomas Novachek (played in this Golden Apple Theatre production by Daniel Arnold) doing an adaptation of a 1870 novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch called Venus In Furs. The novel, as is evident from the author’s last name, has strong masochistic overtones. Novachek struggles to find an actress to fit the title role though until he meets an woman named Wanda don Dunayev (played by Amy Matysio). As the play unfolds a relationship develops between the two characters that recalls elements of von Sacher-Masoch’s novella.

Ives’s play debuted off-Broadway in 2010. Several film versions of the novella have been made over the years, and in 1967 the Velvet Undergound, with the help of Nico, released an album inspired by the novella’s themes that included a song called “Venus In Furs”.

This Golden Apple Theatre production runs at the Artesian on 13th from March 5-22. Tickets are Adults $35, Students $25, and you can find more information here.

To give you a taste, here’s a three-minute compilation of scenes from a 2011 Broadway production: