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Duct Tape Girl & Fetish Chick Conquer the World

nytheatre.com review by Ed Malin
March 28, 2013

Duct Tape Girl & Fetish Chick Conquer the World

Lauren LaRocca, William Vaughn, and Dhira Rauch in a scene from Duct Tape Girl & Fetish Chick Conquer the World | Katie Gillett

You'd be surprised at the kind of theater that's going on in a living room in Park Slope.

Bootstrap Theater Collective is presenting Duct Tape Girl & Fetish Chick Conquer The World, their tenth world premiere, and their first in New York.  There is no set, but there are couches and cushions to sit on, and the questionnaires that spectators complete provide some of the dialogue for the piece.  What follows is a funny, tender story of secret agent types.  There is the older Fetish Chick, or F.C. (Dhira Rauch), who describes herself as a "bitch".  She is joined by the 19 1/2 year-old Duct Tape Girl (Lauren LaRocca), who doesn't drink and can't curse convincingly.  Through working closely together, they almost fall in love, but are assigned to different units.  The two ladies and a character named Motor (William Vaughan) narrate the story, which is good because there are no scene changes.  In fact, the characters rush in and out of scenes by walking into the closet or bathroom of the house where this show is presented.  Yet, it all works.  The ladies' outrageous secret handshakes and dances are engagingly theatrical, and the non-action bits are explained to be what they seem: fragments from a novel which became a play.  There is nowhere to hide; audience participation music and duct tape folding help guide the action along, and the ending was very moving.  Paz Pardo wrote and directed this piece, marrying a supercharged story to believable characters.  I don't know what I was expecting, but the show certainly wasn't the striptease or exploitation that one finds in graphic novels.   Instead, the audience is asked to consider what it means to help the world, and whether there is such a thing as caring too much.