Shiny Shiny Boots of Leather

Back when Culturebot was just knee high to a grasshopper dreaming of a dark, dank, sinful bohemian New York, he would sit and listen to the Velvet Underground’s first record over and over again. Particularly alluring were the ominous strains of John Cale’s violin in Venus in Furs. Lou Reed’s weary, yearning voice, the elliptical lyrics about “shiny boots of leather” and “Taste the whip, in love not given lightly/Taste the whip, now plead for me” spoke of a world that was really, really wrong and completely attractive. Being a natural born librarian and researcher (back before the internet let you do it from your room) Culturebot hunted down the source material of this mysterious song, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch‘s classic 19th century novelVenus in Furs and an interesting companion piece The Confessions of Wanda von Sacher-Masoch (published by the intrepid folks at re/search).

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch is the man for whom Masochism was named. His book was banned throughout Europe for being controversial and explicit. Even today it is a pretty jarring read. In a culture where, supposedly, everything goes and nothing is taboo, where taboo is a musical and part of talk-show culture, a confession such as Sacher-Masoch’s is pretty weird.

Well, a theater company call Firebrand Theory is staging it. Culturebot doesn’t know anything about the company or their production history, but you’ve got to give them credit for taking on such an unwieldy and disturbing text.

According to their press release:

“Everyone pretty much knows the ‘S’ comes from the Marquis de Sade, but VENUS IN FURS is the little-known ‘M’ that explores the human need for primal connection and release,” states director Michael Scott-Price. “The stage is the perfect medium to see up close what happens when one person follows his human urge and darkest fantasies to the end.”

Firebrand Theory’s VENUS IN FURS is a story of a wealthy dilettante who has everything and does nothing, yet falls in love with a woman who gives him the courage to confess his deepest urges. She reluctantly accepts to role-play his long-buried super-sensual desires, and purchases a whip. They are both transformed by this, and the ingredients for their love become the ingredients for their hate. At its core, VENUS IN FURS is the bizarre love story of the world’s first willing sex slave.

Hmmmm…..could be The Secretary, could be Exit to Eden.

Have you seen it? Leave a comment.
Performance Schedule after the jump.

Firebrand Theory Theater Co.
279 Church Street
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday matinees at 3:00 p.m.

September 30 – October 16.

$20 ($15 for students and seniors)

Tickets via TheaterMania

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