note: entire contents copyright 2005 by Larry Stark
Written & Performed by Michael Z. Keamy
Directed by Curt Miller
Sound by Mike Mayo, Michael Abbott
Lighting Design by Julian Benoit
Michael Z. Keamy is apparently a massage therapist with brains enough to turn this profession into art by adding mime and music and monologue. His "Body/Works" is much less a gay peep-show (though there is a touch of that) than a song of the body electric. MACHINE, the gay bar in the bowells of which the play is performed, is next door to THE RAMROD, but the works are universal.
Keamy opens with "The Re-Evolution of Man" --- a mime piece which in just a few minutes runs all the changes from Genesis' first six days of creation to the arrival on the scene of the modern gay male. A section called "Namaste" presents Keamy as the roshi conduction a yoga class. There is a piece satirizing the workout-artists who try to spend a few hours every day on exercize machines, but have a cell-phone pasted to their ear to keep in touch with the office, the wife, the mistress and the boyfriend. And there's a good long mime section demonstrating the love the masager has, not for any individual, but for the body itself.
Under Kurt Miller's direction, the piece contains just enough self-deprecating humor to keep the show bubbling. The frame for the show is a pile of jigsaw-pieces which, when finally put together, creates the portrait of a human male. And the best thing about the show is Keamy's empathetic ability to speak from inside characters created in seconds.