Anyone who was a teenager during the age of satellite dishes probably has fond memories of basking in the soft-focus glow of late-night Cinemax after their parents went to bed. The plots to these movies were a little ridiculous (Emmanuelle vs. Dracula?), but their popularity proved that some folks still appreciate a little narrative with their T&A.
Kata Pierce-Morgan, artistic director for the dance performance La Femme Tragique: The Mystery of Elle knows this.
The Mystery of Elle has the right makings of a great pulp novel: The story follows Angela, an orphan who finds refuge with a community of strippers, and Elle, the highest-ranking female San Diego Police Department officer who protects Angela's group from the corrupt male cops in her squad. Their relationship flourishes throughout the '70s and '80s, until they both commit suicide within a decade of each other.
As pulpy as it sounds, it's a true story. Pierce-Morgan, an ex-stripper, based Angela and Elle on close friends she encountered after she came to San Diego in 1969.
"What I wanted to explore in this show was how two women ended up taking their own lives," Pierce-Morgan says, "how they came to that decision."
The narrative is told through music, projected visuals and a variety of dance styles including cabaret, butoh and contemporary exotic. The performance, which Pierce-Morgan describes as "sexy and very risqué," will be presented at Les Girls Theater (3790 Riley St. in Midway) at 7:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11.
"Nudity is art," she says. "There's the stigma of Les Girls—it always gets a little bit of a snicker. But that theater is unique to San Diego history. All the dancers went to Les Girls."
The show "should be appealing to both men and women," Pierce-Morgan says. "But they have to be open minded. They can't be my relatives from Oklahoma or the Bible Belt."
Tickets are $25 online, $15 for students, military and seniors. lafemmetragique.com
2 TIKI TIKI BOOM
Not to sound conceited, but CityBeat throws some killer events. What can we say? We know how to party. That's why you should go to TikiBeat, our official, tiki-style summer kickoff party happening from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, May 10, at the Lafayette Hotel and Swim Club (2223 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park). Cannonball into the hotel's pool as Creepxotica, The Devastators and Quintinn Holi kick out the jams. The rager sticks to the Hawaiian theme with Polynesian entertainment, tiki-inspired art and fruity drinks with little umbrellas at the bar. There'll also be a fashion show featuring swimsuits from Fables by Barrie. Tickets are $10 and available at the door. Just try not to get cursed by an ancient idol. That would be bad.
3 VINTAGE ROMEDY
Long before Notting Hill and You've Got Mail, there was a romantic comedy called My Best Girl. A silent film released in 1927, it tells the story of Maggie Johnson (played by Mary Pickford), a department-store stock girl who falls in love with one of her coworkers, Joe Grant (Buddy Rogers). Problem is, Grant's actually a dude named Joseph Merrill, the son of the department store's millionaire owner. Oh yeah, and he's engaged! Will the two unlikely lovers unite in the end? Check out a screening of the film at Copley Symphony Hall (750 B St., Downtown) at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 11. Russ Peck will provide live organ accompaniment, playing a partly original score he prepared for the film. $20- $30. sandiegosymphony.org