How a Nice Girl Like You Ends Up in a Place, Etc.
by Anita Gates
When Jill Morley makes her entrance, asking the audience collectively if it likes her breasts, slowly unzipping a red evening gown to reveal a sort of zebra-stripe bikini beneath, sheâs all stripper – gyrating, teasing, good at her job, but thatâs not the point on “True Confessions of a Go-GoGirl,” Ms. Morleyâs essentially one-woman show.
The point is that Ms. Morley is one of her dream (acting), found it hard going financially, looked at the options for earning extra money and made her choice. Her one-act production, whichich has reportedly, been packing them in at KGBâs tiny Red Room Theatre in the East Village, tells the story:
When Jill takes a stage name, Dylan, and begins dancing nearly nude in New Jersey clubs, her life changes. She suddenly has disposable income. (“I even went to the dentist.”) She discobers the pleasures of having power over men. She finds herself unwilling to put up with even a hint of sexual harrassment in her offstage life, because she gets paid good money for that sort of thing now. But, even with the help of her most provocative outfits and erotic moves, she still canât get her boyfriendâs attention away from a James Bond movie on television. One of the playâs most poignant lines is “I still donât think it was the dancing that broke us up.”
“True Confessions,” … is well done.
Audiences may be flocking to “True Confessions” to hear Ms. Morleyâs funny, self-deprecating life story. (As a little girl, whenever she and her three best friends played “Charlieâs Angels,” she always got stuck with the role of Bosley.) Or audiences may just want to see the near-nude dancing of the star and her two back-up strippers. Beware of aisle seats if you do not want their busily moving hips coming within inches of your face at times.
At one point, a peculiar modesty takes over. Ms. Morley demonstrates the practice of flashing (in dancerâs terms, revealing bare breasts for bigger tips), but while wearing giant plastic fake breasts from the sex-toy store. To seasoned theatergoers who over the years have seen the likes of Sigourney Weaver, Anthony Perkins, every young man who has ever starred in “Equus,” various Terrence McNally characters and entire casts of musicals nude onstage, Ms. Morleyâs choice may seem misguided.
Yet she is clearly a good actress, with real presence, and a skilled writer. In telling her story, she portrays several other dancers, like Edna, a Hispanic lesbian who is always telling male customers “but I could change for you”; Nina, who has just had breast implants and is only a little worried that her nipples may turn blue someday; Donna, who is still dancing at age 45 because “that kind of power is not easy to give up,” and Hailey, who has an agent just to handle “bachelor parties and pudding wrestling.”
“True Confessions,” which is performed on Friday nights only, is well done.