Cutting along the dotted gender line
Storms Beneath Her Skin
KC Fringe Festival
Rebecca Kling was at the 2011 Fringe with a performance called "No Gender Left Behind," in which she portrayed a what-if world where sex education took on the issues of gender identity and transition. This year she is back with a new show, "Storms Beneath Her Skin". In it, she takes on the far more personal journey that she herself has taken in becoming a woman.
Now, at this point your humble reviewer must lay her cards on the table. She, too, has followed the peculiar road across the gender lines and into a new life, so she is all too familiar with what so often happens when others are telling your story for you. Sometimes it is told with sensitivity and attention to detail, but often--oh, too often--it is nothing more or less than rumors and suppositions, a monster or a clown, easily digestible for the consuming public. Transgendered performers who can tell their stories in a witty and articulate way are rare indeed, which is why Ms Kling is such a treasured rarity.
A teacher by training and entertainer by inclination, Ms Kling takes us through her personal journey, stepping through the whys and wherefores, breaking down the fine detail, serving it all with wit and aplomb. Similar to last years show, she employs video into the production, though instead of stopping to statically watch the video with us as last year, she interacts with it, narrates over the action on the screen. Her pacing and delivery are confident, and we noted a definite maturing of style over last year. At turns humorous and serious, patient and defiant, she does an excellent job of giving the audience a peek into a world that is truly unlike any other.
"Storms Beneath Her Skin" is performing all this week at The Red Room at Nica's 320.