If you watch the above video you might fall completely in love with Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz as I did this evening.
Their wonderful interpretation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST completes a limited season tonight at the Henry Street Settlement, a gorgeous little theatre on the Lower East Side.
It took me forever to find in the pouring rain and I ended up on the other side of the river in Brooklyn TWICE trying to get there and return home but I'm so glad I persevered.
Mat Fraser was a thalidomide baby so his arms and hands are stunted "seal flippers" as he calls them. Brilliantly, two other performers (Jonny Dixon and Jess Mabel Jones) play the Beast's arms in early scenes, occasionally and hilariously ending up on the wrong side and, hauntingly, remaining onstage like the Cheshire Cat's smile at the end of a scene after Fraser has left.
Alternating with the fairy tale scenes, we hear the story of how Muz and Fraser met and fell in love, and see recreations of their famous burlesque acts. They are both naturally gifted performers, highly attractive, very funny and very sexy, so when their clothes come off...and stay off...halfway through the show it isn't at all confronting. The added bonus is, the other two eventually get their gear off as well!
The play also contains the most hilarious erotic eating scene since the film of TOM JONES. Only a great deal more explicit.
If you hear of this production at a theatre near you, it is X-rated but great fun.