[46] ETERNAL GLAMNATION (Brat Productions): Fringe review

Jess Conda in Eternal Glamnation
Jess Conda created and stars in Brat Productions’ ETERNAL GLAMNATION (Photo credit: Plate 3 Photography)

A remount of Jess Conda’s gloriously glitzy glam-rock musical that enjoyed a smash-hit world premiere at the 2012 Fringe, Brat Productions’ ETERNAL GLAMNATION invaded this year’s Festival for a two-night run at Underground Arts. Featuring the original live band and reassembled cast of camp, drag, and sparkling super-Brats, the high-energy space-age alien fantasy of self-discovery and acceptance offered powerhouse covers of some of the best music from the era (including David Bowie, Lou Reed, and the Velvet Underground) by some of the best voices to rock a Philadelphia stage (Jess Conda, Frances Distefano, Bobby Fabulous, Kevin Jordan, and Erik Ransom).

When a charismatic Glam Alien (Ransom, looking and sounding especially stunning) arrives on the scene, an all-American nuclear family begins its quest for self-expression, unleashing its closeted sexuality (Jordan entices and accosts the audience with “Venus in Furs”), experimentation with mind-altering substances (Conda leads an exceptionally rousing version of the Tiger Lillies’ “Heroin and Cocaine”), and bodacious taste in fashion (designs by Bobby Fabulous). The flamboyant costumes, wigs, and make-up capture all the ostentatious glamour of the ’70s in glitter, platforms, and spandex, and the serious sentiment underlying the flashy fun–to be yourself, and to allow other to do the same–is a message we should all celebrate. [Underground Arts] September 8 and 15, 2013, bratproductions.org.

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