Credit: Karmen Elaine

For all its talk of inclusion, the Fly Honey Show is not about subtlety,
nor is it for minimalists. Now roaring into its ninth season, the
ear-blisteringly loud, unabashedly proud, intersectional feminist
extravaganza of spoken word, song, and dance claims some 300 ensemble
members and 35 featured acts spreading their gospel of sex- and
body-positivity and their multitude of legs over a five-week run at the
Den. They promise 150 minutes, and they make you go a full 180. There’s a
lot of whooping, hollering, and convulsing on- and offstage, all led by
host Mary Williamson, whose tone strikes a frequency between gym coach
about to fine you 50 push-ups and camp counselor leading you into parts
definitely unknown, together with her lovely cohosts, Sydney Charles and
Molly Brennan.

And yet there is something disarmingly familiar about the big-band jazz and
the completely unspectacular gyrating that open the hours in the Hive—a
reminder that for all the leather, pasties, lace, straps, and glitter,
these bodies belong to your neighbor, your friend, your coworker. And, the
hosts emphasize, the same rules should apply inside as out: don’t touch
without permission. Though the script at times veers into a choral pedantry
that hints at an unverified proportion of lapsed Catholics among the
production team, if you’re coming for sexy talks and sexy walks, there’s
plenty for the gawking. And sometimes more: the highlight of opening
weekend was the brave and beautiful poetry of transgender performance
artist Bea Cordelia speaking her mind.   v