The black woman is on all fours. She growls like a wild animal at the white audience in a Paris salon. This is the first decade of the 19th century, and she is the Venus Hottentot. A white man/master holds the leash on her. She pulls on the leash and threatens a white woman with her teeth, and the white woman screams in fear. A dashing and fearless white man approaches the black beast, assumes control of the leash, straddles her, and repeatedly, powerfully, heroically slaps her big buttocks. He tames the African animal. Everyone applauds him. At the end of the show, the Venus Hottentot (played superbly, maybe too superbly, by Yahima Torres) returns to her dressing room, opens a bottle of whiskey, drinks deeply, drinks darkly, and drowns some of her pain and humiliation. The film is shocking; the film will break your heart. (Egyptian Theatre, 805 E Pine St,, 8:30 pm, $11)

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