By now you should know all about grand guignol, thanks to the efforts of the Thrillpeddlers theater troupe (if not, think shock theater directed by Quentin Tarantino and a bucket of blood). In 19th-century Paris, ladies used to faint during shows, because their constitutions, except when it came to shit in the streets and syphilis lesions, were delicate. Today, nobody falls over, primarily because art can only startle for so many years (except if it involves excrement we're still scared of GG Allin, even though he's dead), but also because Thrillpeddlers director Russell Blackwood does not purchase cows eyes and things from a butcher shop before productions. What he does, however, is keep true to the text of those original horror shows. Thrillpeddlers first show of the season, "Audacious Artefacts: Parisian Grand Guignol," features four short plays from the golden years: a jungle freakout with cannibals and psychics, a revenge drama with a prostitute and a Russian general, a sex farce featuring two men swapping their wives, and an erotic spookshow starring two Catholics, a gardener, and various offenses to God.
Thursdays-Saturdays. Starts: March 19. Continues through May 16, 2009