Just in time for a break in the run of the Slutcracker across the street at the Somerville Theatre comes a two-night run of Jo Carol Pierce's Bad Girls Upset By The Truth. The humorous production splices country-tinged ballads with dramatic monologues that explore one woman's realization of the "truth" about love.
Unlike Slutcracker (which I love too), Bad Girls reminds us that not all bad girls are created equal. Not all of them are raging extroverts, or conventionally sex-positive, or are particularly socially well-adjusted for that matter. Sometimes that geek girl with the ugly sweater is just that, a geek girl with a sweater--and that thing ain't getting whipped off to a disco soundtrack.
In this case, the truth in question is one owned by Austin, TX based songwriter, Pierce, who is embodied here by Boston music & theater veteran, Lisa McColgan (Mortified Boston, Boston Rock Opera, Catbox Caberet). McColgan is joined here by a talented band led by Boston rock-prince Ad Frank, whose return to the stage is also a pretty big deal for those who have been waiting for his next big project.
According to McColgan, Frank discovered Pierce's legendary work on his first trip down to Austin, where when attending the Austin Music Awards he witnessed a tribute to Jo Carol Piece. As it turns out, Pierce--who didn't start making music professionally until she was in her 40's--is somewhat of a cult figure down in Texas. Her 1996 album Bad Girls Upset by the Truth, a mixture of songs and autobiographical monologies is a big reason why. As for Ad Frank, well, "he was smitten," says McColgan.
While others have put on productions of the album, which explores the somewhat ambitious idea that all men are a manefestation of Jesus (and therefore our protagonist better get to *know* as many of them as possible to get the clearest picture of the holy land), this one figures to be special for a number of reasons. McColgan and Frank go way back as members of the Boston Rock Opera and are sure to bring a lot of quirky, clever chemstry (Frank also performs as the protagonist's first boyfriend) as well as brilliant musical performances. Secondly, the setting and time are just right. Johnny D's in December will prove to be the idyllic musical environment for a Texas-flavored show that McColgan loosely calls a "non-traditional Christmas pagaent." After all, Bad Girls begins with a failed suicide attempt and ends with a phantasmagorical melodrama of our hero giving birth to a baby girl named 'Jesus' in a supermarket. Clean up on aisle 7, anyone?
Lastly the show has the blessing of Pierce herself, who unfortunately can't make the performance, but according to McColgan (who has been running ideas off of Pierce via telephone), the songstress will be here in spirit.
So for any bad girl who has ever wondered “what are these boys for and what am I supposed to do with them?”--you'll get no precious answer, but Bad Girls Upset By The Truth is the show for you.
Bad Girls Upset By the Truth
December 11 and 12
9PM, $12, 21+
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About the authorJonathan Donaldson is a Boston-based musician, writer, and second-generation music junkie. An Ohio native who moved to Boston in 1998, Jonathan's musical loves include R&B, psych, punk, bubblegum, country, electronic, More »
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