The Secret Order of the Libertines, An Intimate Revolution

When I chose to see this I couldn’t guess what it might be about, but its title and location down by the river recalled to mind the film Querelle with Jeanne Moreau as the brothel’s madame singing “Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves.” I wasn’t far off. The Poetry Brothelᵀᴹ, a registered trademark of The Poetry Society of New York, has branches in Barcelona, Chicago, New Orleans, and New York and made its Philadelphia debut tonight in Grasso’s Magic Theatre. It’s a darkly pseudo-Victorian space with a bar, a ticket booth and a lobby that makes a perfect lounge where you can size up the lovely Poetry Whores and purchase $5 tokens to have them give you a private reading of their poetry. Its revue-like format also allows for suggestive songs by the Femme-Mynistiques, Geri Vanore, Alexa Gold, and Gabrielle de Burke -- songstresses of high-repute. Rachel Fogletto recounted sexual escapades in Safe Sex, and so did Monica Day, but I can’t give the title of her monologue here. During intermissions called Open Brothels, I gave my first token up to a pair of redhead twins who took turns with me, reading alternate lines of the same poem. Later, for two tokens, I engaged a set of triplets who knelt at my feet adoringly and read in a similar fashion, while shyly tucking little love notes into my handbag and pockets. Both South Philly Lou (Lynn Hoffman) and Doctore Bluez (Carol Moog) gave me freebies. I fled into the night with my clothes still on.

$25 Grasso’s Magic Theatre 103 Callowhill St. Sept. 15 7 and 10 p.m. Sept. 20 8p.m.

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