Maria Glanz has been doing this solo show, See Me Naked, for a while. She first began presenting it in 2001, when it won notice during the Fringe Festival. Directed by Elizabeth Kolb, a founder of UMO Ensemble, it’s a tease.
Glanz plays a character, a woman who has taken some burlesque classes and is going to finally perform in public. Well, she kind of loses her nerve just as she’s starting her performance. But that doesn’t end the evening. In fact, it starts it. What follows is an audience-interactive journey through nakedness and nudity (they are different, aren’t they?) and our cultural connections to our bodies.
Glanz will tell you some of the research she has done online, true but odd facts about how seeing naked women in Nigeria can cause men to be considered dead (no one will marry them after that). It’s verifiably the case that nudity on television gets a higher protective rating than a lot of violent acts. Exploring your own notions of nakedness is an inevitable piece of the evening.
In fact, if you are so inclined, you could probably get more naked than she does during much of the show! Her character reveals herself in ways that many will feel just as exposed as if she did take off all her clothes.
The show will be presented two more evenings this week, Friday and Saturday, at West of Lenin. Glanz plans to present it again for a couple of nights in April, perhaps, wanting to do something different than just run a piece several weekends in a row, like typical theatrical offerings. It’s an interesting hour that will get you thinking and maybe you’ll have a great conversation over coffee or beer with your companion, afterward.