Theater Review: ‘Kink Haüs’ at La MaMa E.T.C.

By Jonathan Spira on 26 September 2018
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Growing up in the 90s in Austria, Germany, and the United States, I went to my share of clubs ranging from Area and The Tunnel in New York and KitKatClub Ostgut, and, later on, Berghain in Berlin.

Apparently, so did performance artist Gunnar Montana.

“Kink Haüs,” an experimental work created by and starring Montana, is an unapologetically risqué look at queer nightlife, inspired by Montana’s time in Berlin, starting with an unnamed club he was refused entrance to that had the letter “ü” in it, which inspired the inclusion of the “ü” in the title (whereas the word for “house” in Germany is spelt “Haus”).

Upon entering La MaMa – one of the city’s oldest operating theaters – you descend downstairs amidst a sea of colored plastic drink cups, artfully placed, and enter a theater where – is that a dead man over there? – anything is possible.

Theatergoers are essentially inside Montana’s club – designed by Oona Curley – replete with Tom of Finland-inspired art, chains, lascivious artwork, lurid graffiti, sex toys, and even a pull-out oiled floor.  Distressed sofas? Check!  A bathtub? Check!  Dildo-shaped microphone? Check!

The show’s opening won’t be confused with a runway presentation further uptown (Fashion Week was just ending when the show opened) but it was far more exciting with a mix of leather, rubber, mesh, glitter, feathers, and confetti.

As with the Berghain, there’s a house DJ and at Kink Haüs it’s CJ Coleman, who keeps the ensemble (unforgettably portrayed by Avi Borouchoff, Jessica Daley, Dylan Kepp, Frank Leone, and Stephanie Lyneice) as well as the audience groovin’ to the beat

“Kink Haüs” is Cirque de Soleil, “Kink Haüs” is outlandish, and “Kink Haüs is attitude.

As the emcee says at the end, “It’s time to go.  You don’t have to go home, but you do have to go somewhere,” I didn’t want to leave: I just wanted to join in on the fun.

THE DETAILS

Kink Haüs
Limited engagement through October 6, 2018
La MaMa Experimental Theater Club
66 East 4 Street
New York, N.Y. 10003
Runtime: 55 minutes
www.lamama.org

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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