Women With Balls
Bathhouse Theatre,
7312 W Green Lake Dr N, 325-6500.
Through Aug 11, $10-$20.

Oh, the irony: Writer and star Donna Rae Davidson claims that she got the 250 smackers needed to register Women With Balls--her bubbly musical revue of strong women throughout history--into the 1998 Seattle Fringe Theater Festival by swindling them out of a married dude, whom she dated expressly for that purpose. The show was named best of the fest. Scrumptious.

Finally, someone has managed to tackle a social issue without beating the audience to death with it. The concept is simple: Four fun and talented women perform what seems like a collection of history reports written by sassy budding feminists. Set to music. With butt jokes. This show is breezy, not preachy; lighthearted, not pointy-headed; and even a touch (ouch) educational. (Bring the kids, but be warned--they say "fuck" a lot. And there are dykes hanging from the rafters.)

Davidson and company go for a full package here: multimedia representations of feisty women of myth and history (busty Mae West, eerie voodoo queen Marie Laveau, lumpy old Lady Roosevelt) decorate the lobby walls, and dog-eared copies of The Quotable Woman are left about within easy reach. You see, it's all about WOMEN--ones you'd rather not piss off: Lysistrata, Joan Baez, Joan of Arc, Harriet Tubman, Annie Sprinkle... the list could go on forever.

Thank GOD it didn't.

Women understands the value of brevity. This tight little show touches on an extensive list of herstorical personalities, but still runs less than 90 minutes including a confusing (yet amusing) opening number by standup comic Ron Reid Davidson ("commuting on I-5" jokes opening a show about revolutionary dames? Okeedokee). The show also had a refreshing integrity--I would personally like to thank Donna Rae Davidson for writing the only (and I mean ONLY) September 11 reference I've seen to date that wasn't an emotionally manipulative pile of crap. Screw "best of the fest"--Donna Rae Davidson should get an award for THAT.

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