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Courtesan Café (Premiere)
As apart of the San Diego International Fringe Festival

An Addictive, Sexy, Flamboyant Story of Legacy and Lust. (Adults only, 18+)

July 5, 6, 11, 12, 13 at 6:30p.m.
$10 general admission, online
Purchase Below

Date: 6:30pm


La Femme Tragique: The Story of Memorie (premiere July 2012)

Sunday’s performance was a mind-blower- I knew it would probably be worthwhile, but I wasn’t expecting it to be that good. It managed to be very emotionally potent without any melodrama or obvious narrative elementsvery surreal and dream-like. It seemed old, like something that might have been staged at Cabaret Voltaire in 1916, and it also reminded me a bit of an old experimental film by Kenneth Anger I recently saw at the art museum in downtown L.A. M.K (musician)

In my own experience, Butoh is certainly an acquired taste! After watching a Butoh-inspired film called “Cherry Blossoms.” which illuminated the deep meanings of this dark dance for me., Butoh suddenly took on a deeply emotional connotation for me. Now I am finding the same thing to be true of Les Girls. On my first visit there, I found it to be dark and the grinding dancing to be, well, shocking to my Southern Baptist sensibilities. However, watching La Femme Tragique I perceived the venue as a charming old theater with deep roots in San Diego history. The lights that encircled the stage created an intimate setting for this intense performance. I was charmed by each one the performers. Kata and Charlene created a powerful visual beginning to the show. Society Lady Mary provided a wonderfully disapproving character as the object of taunting by the sexy and sensual Minaqua, and Lizzy, as The Feathered Angela, was seductive and saucy as the French burlesque icon. The always magnificent John Diaz blazed across the stage as the Aztecan Bird God. I thought the nude, fair-skinned Tragic Angela performed beautifully as the vision of despair and lost innocence. Sarah and Charlene performed a very moving duet of a dance that was quite beautiful to see. I also thought that Anne brought her usually insightful performance to her character. I won’t forget the many outrageous expressions that crossed Kata’s face that evening – especially as she was chuckling and bouncing about and then later as she bared her breasts triumphantly and unrepentant at the end of the show. Bravo! B.M. (Retired Executive Director, VCS)

Pierce is on to something with “La Femme” in that it takes viewers to unfamiliar territory and challenges our notion of art and beauty – and confronts ageism. The drama really heated up with the entrance of Diaz as the Aztec Bird God who shared divine wisdom with the mortals. Adorned with warrior paint on his face and red stained knees, he was riveting in poses and slow extensions.In the role of Night Terror, Gehman, with heavy black eyeliner running, exuded madness in the realm of Alice Cooper crossed with a dead French
maid. As Angela, McPherson embodied the perfect female form in a sheer lace sheath. Costumes designed by Gehman were subtle and effective in defining characters. The lighting design by McPherson cast shadows on smooth skin and illuminated expressive faces. Music was engaging and tapped into cabaret days long gone, such as Natalie Wood singing “Let Me Entertain You,” and Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose.” Kris Eitland (, dance critic)

La Femme Tragique is pure husband and I talked about it for two weeks afterwards. It was amazing. S.A. (NYC/San Diego theater patron)

Many wonderful moments! Congratulations! ...a true performer and ageless! Jean Isaacs (San Diego Dance Theater, Artistic Director) amazing performance...A story of sexuality, fantasy, frustration, rejection, sadness and self-discovery. In many ways a celebration of life. Cast was extraordinary, the music eclectic and performance both brave
and intriguing - with reflections of Toulouse. Lautrec. H.C. (Japan Foundation of San Diego and Tijuana)
Presentation and Performance, Japanese Gardens, Balboa Park, San Diego CA 2/2012

...outstanding presentation and performance...truly an eye-opening experience. Dave Tuites, President
Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana