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Flash Review 2, 4-25: Queer Faerie Circus
Heron's "Tender'" Heart

By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2001 Chris Dohse

Watching Scott Heron in "Tender," seen Friday night at Dixon Place, is like watching a hyperkinetic teenager who has gotten into the sugar bowl. In a series of episodes, Heron's collage of song and dance, a collaboration with musician Chris Cochrane, rummages through a Faerie toychest with music and mayhem. You get the feeling that you're hanging out in somebody's basement rec room, as the dynamic duo wrecks the room. This Queer vaudeville ludic Dada is the kind of adrenaline melee that made the East Village famous, before it became a frat house strip mall.

Heron begins by dancing a spastic funky chicken in silence. His movement investigations proceed through a quasi-Flamenco routine, a Shirley Bassey ballad, and other vignettes of manic faggotry. Cochrane sometimes accompanies on guitar, sometimes punctuates the dances with musical interludes. Basically the two of them fart around in the most delightful way, exposing their sweet rumps, becoming caterwauling creatures, and transforming a stage littered with detritus (paper hearts, tin cans, lemons) into an animated, Chaplinesque circus. They've been friends a long time, and their camaraderie enriches the shared space. If the viewer allows them to take him away, their abundance of imagination remodels the ordinary. And Heron throws candy to the crowd during an encore.

Deborah Hay writes, in her book "Lamb at the Altar," that Heron has "a heart like a jewel." In "Tender," he and Cochrane expose some of the facets of their respective jewels as places just to the left of expectations, filled with gaiety.

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