North Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 10/22/16 – Produced and Directed by Vanessa Cate, Hex is a masterful amalgam of dance, comedy, horror, feminism & passion. The collaborative effort pieced together the talent & knowledge of the ensemble in writing, choreography, acting, witchcraft, mythology and even fluent Latin.
The dynamic of the show was almost symphonic as it begins with the earthy tones of Wiccan rituals and weaves vignettes of Paganism, tribal dance, wolf incarnations, comedic skits and an exorcism in an asylum where the lines were blurred between the screams of the mad and of those that are possessed; culminating in deals & dances with the devil, the burning of witches at the stake and an epilogue bringing us full circle to the Wiccan chants once again. Cates herself delivers some of the evening’s most powerful performances as Lucifer and in a recitation of the Raven she says to have had memorized since the sixth grade.
Some other highlights included the act entitled “Me & Mr. Wolf” written by Kat Nelson-Bergfeld inspired by a reoccurring nightmare. The piece featured Sasha Snow as Little Red Riding Hood in an act of transformation. Placed perfectly between the intensity of the rest of the evening, Sasha also wrote & starred in a very campy skit which pokes fun at slut shaming.
Ballerina Deneen Melody conceived & led the ensemble in the grande finale inspired by the 1970’s erotic anime film, “Belladonna”. As a woman seeking help and power she pleads to those around her but is shunned until she is seduced by Satan. The dramatic piece was intended to educate society regarding slut shaming & victim blaming. Performed nude, her clothing was stripped away to convey the humiliation and vulnerability. Despite her intentions being pure, she is victimized and brought to sheer terror. Deneen’s performance was that of many levels showcasing sweet, scared, erotic, fearful & ultimately death.
The cast of Hex came together through their connections spiritually and emotionally. They realized the parallels of centuries of witches and themselves in today’s society. Despite being 400 years later, women of power are still feared & demonized for being just that. Ostensibly perfect timing for Halloween but even more so for today’s social and political climate.
Tuesday October 25th 10p
Zombie Joe’s Underground
4850 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, California 90601