A Feminazi Cunt + The Bee Gees = Trump’s Nightmare
If you love when 70’s and 80’s pop music is incorporated into a modern-day story, but Mamma Mia’s not gay enough for you, then you’re in luck. Amanda Duarte, a self-described ‘feminazi cunt’ has created Staying Alive, a performance piece using the music of the Bee Gees to tell the story of life in Trump’s America. Duarte, co- creator of the hashtag #pussygrabsback, will be joined on stage by some of NYC’s funniest LGBTQ performers. Through song and dance they’ll show how cis gendered, white, heterosexual men losing their grip on power might be the best thing for all of us.
When Duarte co-created the hashtag #pussygrabsback, she was responding to Donald Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape. The hashtag went viral, made its way onto protest signs and t-shirts, but Trump still won. Staying Alive is her response to a now President Trump. “They say that tragedy plus time equals comedy,” says Duarte, “But we don’t have any time. Everything is happening so fast. The country is falling apart, democracy is eroding, we’re falling into an ethno-fascist state that may be irreversible. Everything is terrifying so what do we all do?”
We don’t live in a bubble. Art often inspires other art and it was no different for this show. Says Duarte, “I watched the movie ‘Staying Alive’, which is really terrible, but it’s got all this great music and it exists in sort of a similar time and space in New York City. I saw a lot of parallels. I was really inspired by it. I’m just going to talk, dance and sing about what do you do when the floor is falling out from under you and you realize you don’t have control of really anything.”
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Saturday Night Fever is a classic American film. It’s sequel, Staying Alive, doesn’t have the same reputation. “The sequel, for some reason, was written and directed by Sylvester Stallone and it’s so bad,” she says. “It’s a completely terrible, shallow and misogynist movie.” While the plot doesn’t bear repeating, the songs easily lend themselves to re-appropriation. “We’re gonna fuck around with these really great songs that didn’t get the play that they deserved.”
These songs flesh out a story about personal and political traumas because, in 2018, they’re probably intertwined. “The personal is political,” says Duarte, “There’s definitely a lot of overlap and right now, as a woman, as a queer person or any marginalized person it’s really hard to write about one without the other. I think for any person of conscience it is kind of impossible to separate the personal from the political. One is just completely influencing and feeding and starving the other. I wouldn’t know how to tell any story about my life without it being political in some sense. “
Being outspoken about politics, gender and gender roles is nothing new for this feminazi cunt. “I’ve taken it on as my pronoun of choice,” she says, “I’ve been called that so many times in a derogatory sense and I find both of those words to be rather empowering. I decided to reclaim them both.”
What does Duarte want people to take away from this show? “I want people to leave the show with a renewed sense of comfort and confidence that, although we live in a crumbling empire, nothing is permanent.” And if that doesn’t work she adds, “I want people to be ready to dance in the flames of Pompeii.”
Check out this feminazi cunt and her costars Becca Blackwell, The Gay Agenda, Jenn Harris and Matthew Cleaver for a show the Gibb brothers never dreamed about.