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"69 Stories: One Pervert's Tale" and "No Good Deed" 

Both of Mollena Williams' sexy shows are great fun

Wednesday, Nov 3 2004
Mollena Williams' first monologue, 69 Stories, started three years ago as a sort of pervert's confessional: Theater mixed with post-show Q&A about sadomasochism and your more elaborate electrico-sexual tools. It told a charming but rambling story that ranged from her childhood acting gig in an Orbit gum commercial to a revelatory affair with a guitarist in Van Morrison's band. Williams has revived and improved the script -- tightened this, elaborated that -- and added a prequel, No Good Deed, about a job as a Wells Fargo phone-bank operator. Both shows play in repertory at the Exit on Taylor, but the hour-long No Good Deed feels more like a curtain-raiser. It's a funny, horrible (and probably true) story about the vagaries of sexual harassment in a stifling corporate office. The material could fuel a three-act play, but Williams chooses to make some jokes about uptight women, idiotic corporate rules, and the rural isolation of Concord, Calif., and sign off. She does step into costume as a stiff human-resources manager and an excitable skinny blonde in a baseball cap, which is an evolution from 69 Stories, in which she tends to play herself. (Williams is large, black, and not at all stiff, so the transformations are hilarious.) In fact, both shows are great fun, as far as they go, but No Good Deed needs more substance to stand on its own.


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