Stage Raw: Pieter-Dirk Uys and Charlize Theron at UCLA
One of Uys' belles, giving a "blow job" to the ashes of her late Nazi husband. Photo by Eric Newton
A balding, Caucasian 64-year-old drag queen from South Africa, satirist and performance artist Pieter-Dirk Uys has been dubbed a national treasure in his homeland, hobnobbing with the likes of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, and imitating both men onstage with untethered mockery. He's in Los Angeles through October 11 to perform his show Elections and Erections, which opened on Sunday at UCLA's Glorya Kaufman Hall (see New Reviews). It's at REDCAT on Friday night, then at the Gay and Lesbian Center on Saturday and Sunday.
Uys' Evita Bezuidenhout is South Africa's answer to Barry Humphreys' Dame Edna, though the AIDS epidemic that remains uncontained in his homeland has given Uys a clear political mission to go into schools and, through humor, instill awareness of sexuality and AIDS prevention, conversations he still finds are stifled by a traditions of shirking discussions of sex, compounded by urban myths that AIDS infections can be cured by raping virgins and/or by a shower.
At Sunday's opening performance at UCLA, Charlize Theron - the first African to receive an Oscar in a major acting category, in 2003 (for her performance of serial killer Aileen Wuoros in Monster) - joined Uys' alter-ego, Evita Bezuidenhout, onstage. Theron demurred when Evita asked her about her next film project, preferring to plug the Africa Outreach Project, which Theron established two years ago in order to send mobile health clinics into her country's impoverished regions.
Get the Theater Newsletter
Get a rundown of upcoming theater events and ticket deals in Los Angeles.