FRINGE REVIEW: seXmas Cards

Kate Mock Elliott couldn’t be more naked.  Not literally, but in her one-woman show, seXmas Cards, she bares it all bravely.  You might call it oversharing and if she were to have some of these conversations with us off stage we’d probably find it odd.  But that’s kinda the point.  She wants us to be OK with uncomfortable conversations.

You know those fake Christmas letters?  I get some every year and I throw them in the trash after skimming them because they’re always full of superficial nonsense.  They always feel narcissistic and inauthentic.  Mock uses those letters as the framework by which to have a very frank conversation with us about sex, her body, and her relationship with her husband.  It’s a lot.  But she’s charming enough, funny enough, and smart enough to pull it off without seeming exhibitionistic.

Elliott’s been working on this show for several years; I’m glad. It needed to cook.  The best part of the whole performance is the most difficult to perform, I’m sure, when she has to admit through a replayed conversation with her loving husband about how his needs weren’t being met and how selfish she was being.  It’s gut-wrenchingly honest . . . and very very real.

This show is not for the faint of heart.  There are very explicit descriptions of sex acts and bodily functions.  I’m a little surprised no one got up to leave – but it is Fringe, after all.  These audiences are more accepting of difficult topics.  I’ve noticed that this year – both at Fringe and down the block at THE WOLVES – there has been much more open and frank discussions by women about their bodies.  I’m glad women are feeling empowered in 2019 to say what they want.  Feminism is riding a new wave.

I just hope no matter the agenda or the point that everyone can make their show as entertaining as seXmas Cards.

seXmas Cards is part of the 2019 Cincinnati Fringe Festival.  Click here for information about the show and click here for information about the festival.