April 17, 2015

The curtain speech at “Revenge of the Popinjay,” by Animal Parts at Dixon Place, sounds a bit different than usual. There’s little about cellphones or flash photography or exit routes. Instead, Anthony (Anthony Johnston), with his plaid shirt and ripped jeans and uniquely Canadian friendliness, shares the latest safety guidelines issued by the New York Police Department: “Try to be off the streets by nightfall. Do not go out alone. If you must leave your homes after dark, always travel with a same-sex buddy.” It seems that a slayer known as Gaylord the Ripper, the Hetero Killer has been hacking the arms off straight people, then dumping their bodies into the East River. (I guess if the dismemberment doesn’t kill them, the pollution will.) Happily, Anthony acknowledges that Dixon Place, long a beacon of queer performance, “is probably one of the safest places we could be right now.” But I’m not sure Dixon Place has ever seen a solo show quite like the queasy, creepy, chaotic “Revenge of the Popinjay,” which combines Theater of the Ridiculous comedy with confessional monologues, a slasher film aesthetic, an allegory of queer experience, a Beyoncé tribute and some rowdily pornographic rap music.