Annex Theatre
1916 Fourth Ave, 728-0933
Fri March 19 at 11

It's a hard life, maintaining your career in the straight to video movie industry. Just ask Julie Strain, seen here, or her fictional counterpart Dotty Parker, veteran of ten lesbian vampire movies, now losing her cool as she hustles in a too-tight dress between casting-couch meetings with sex-crazed producers, interviews with drooling writers for fanzines, and an industry award ceremony--where she's up for the Queen Bitch Award, a decided step down from the Hot Slut Award she'd won in years past. While berating her hapless personal assistant John, or in conversations with an unseen producer and writer, Parker (Lyssa Browne) analyzes her profession and her fate in great detail. Her speeches, written with a pleasingly incongruous literacy and eloquence by playwright Bret Fetzer, explore the oddly popular '90s genre of the sex thriller with perspicacity and wit. SCREAM QUEEN is perhaps a case where the subject matter fails to sufficiently reward the attention focused on it--is there really that much to think about in Julie Strain videos?--but Fetzer's contemporary take on Sunset Boulevard is smart enough and short enough to carry it off.