New York

Ann Magnuson


Ann Magnuson, prime mover of the early Club 57 performances, queen of theme-night events around town, and curator of variety shows like last season’s “Performance Rites” at P.S. 1 (four Sundays of “serious fun” with some hundred performers), has lately been perfecting and presenting a repertory of solo pieces. These “characters” are caricatures of female roles drawn from pop culture—more specifically, from pop media. There’s “Tammy Fay,” a gospel singer modeled after the PTL “Praise The Lord” Club TV hostess; a foul-mouthed Hollywood starlet; and a rock chick who fronts a heavy-metal band called Vulcan Death Grip. Magnuson alters her appearance for each role with costumes and wigs, assembles the appropriate props, and reproduces her model’s behavior with knowing perfection.

Because her sources are pop-culture items which are already exaggerated parodies in themselves, there’s a definite

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