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Night Howl
By Karen Reardanz

Psycho-Sexual Incantation
Tastes Like Chicken: Performance arties Peter Gault and Amy Rachelle should get a little kinky and ornery during 'A Psycho-Sexual Incantation' at the Actors' Theatre on Saturday.

Photo by Alexander Plata

The Hole Truth:
Peter Gault leads a psycho-sexual trip through the body and soul

DO YOU FIND YOURSELF LAMENTING a lack of kink in your life lately? If so, the doctor of sordid little performances has a prescription for you. Dr. Peter Gault, that is, who advises checking out his Psycho-Sexual Incantation act when he turns himself into the Actors' Theatre Santa Cruz on Saturday for a night that's sure to clear up whatever ails you.

So who exactly is Peter Gault, you ask? Well, he's not a real doctor for starters, but he is the bald-headed author of the performance-art-in-a-book Knucklehead. A tad over 200 pages of arty speak chronicling a man's journey to find happiness through sex, weirdness and overanalysis, Knucklehead wanders into obscure realms, trying its hardest to shock the pants off readers left and right.

The jury's still out on whether or not there's enough shock value in the book to make it the literary hit of the year, but Saturday's performance is guaranteed to stir up quite a bit of conversation around the water cooler Monday morning.

A melding of performance art shtick and theatrical melodrama, A Psycho-Sexual Incantation aims to take audiences on a Knucklehead-adapted journey through the wilds of Gault's imagination. He and paramour, super-promoter and performance partner-in-crime Amy Rachelle adorn themselves in Day-glo body paint, don the very finest in G-strings and hop to the stage for a theatrical, literary free-for-all.

The Toronto/New York-based author himself has difficulty explaining what exactly happens when the clothes come off and the curtain goes up--those arty types always do--but he definitely makes it clear it's unlike anything anyone has ever seen, except those who caught Gault and Rachelle at the Actors' Theatre last June, of course. What it does promise--and delivers--is music, art, spoken word and trippy lighting wrapped around passages from Knucklehead. Not quite a reading, not quite a play, Psycho-Sexual can only be described as an experience.

And now for the part you've all been waiting for: the kink. The players don't like clothes, there's lots of leather, piercings, biting and a whole bunch of naughty talk. But Gault himself scoffs when asked about all the scuttlebutt his show stirs up. If you're interested enough to come to the show, you know what you're getting yourself into. And chances are, you'll probably like it.

A Psycho-Sexual Incantation takes shape on Saturday (8pm) at the Actors' Theatre, 1001 Center St. in downtown Santa Cruz. Tickets cost $7 each. For more info, call 425-PLAY. For those preferring a more mild-mannered, traditional reading, Gault warms things up Saturday afternoon with a self-censored and fully clothed do at Bookshop Santa Cruz.


The Red Room kicks off a weekly women's poetry/spoken word/free-flowin' night on Wednesday. ... Dresden makes a Cabrillo appearance on Aug. 9, while Pacific Avenue's Curiosa hosts a party complete with art, music, body painting and, I do believe, free food on the exact same day.

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From the July 31-Aug. 6, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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