The porn auteur’s lament ("The old stage is vanishing") is answered with one final revue, the bacchanalia’s extended rehearsal. The proscenium is bare but for the discarded togs, the frisky troupers get acquainted while the director (Cláudio Cunha, rather like Erland Josephson with pipe and pubic beard) choreographs cheerfully from the front row. A sort of mix of Bob Fosse and Wilhelm Reich, Cunha’s theatrical satyr boasts of sex as the key to dramatic expression, onstage diddling is "the first step towards spontaneity." Ribald improv skits follow, each a parody of hardcore tropes (ravished housewife, inflamed nun, dominatrix at the rack) and actorly vanity. It builds to a merry polysexual nod to Caligula, though not before an endearing faux-bestiality vignette featuring a floppy bear costume modeled on Sarastro’s menagerie (Bergman’s The Magic Flute). Literalizing Busby Berkeley’s orgy metaphors is a feat begun by Oh! Calcutta and The First Nudie Musical, the ingénue (Eleni Bandettini) is as hopeful and wide-eyed as Ruby Keeler but with a penchant for blowjobs. A meta-comedy of performance and voyeurism, a warm-to-the-touch blend of raunch and rue, a heartfelt eulogy to pornochanchada in the onset of the AIDS era -- nothing is lost on Cunha, who follows the randy spectacle by leaping onstage and spreading his arms wide and welcoming to the audience. With Elizabeth Bacelar, Ronaldo Amaral, Jaime Cardoso, Cleide Cunha, Lia Farrel, Peri Ornellas, Inês Kalafi, Vinicius Kruger, and Débora Muniz.
--- Fernando F. Croce