"Audience participation shows usually involve somebody getting dragged up on stage and made a fool of. That never happens in my show," Denna Fleysher, the US-based performer of Butt Kapinski confirms. "Nobody gets out of their seat. It's more like The Rocky Horror Show. It's fun to be a part of, nobody gets embarrassed, and everyone has a lot fun.
"Butt Kapinski was born out of all my garbage and gold I guess. Love of darkness and perversity, a need to share that love with others, and the drive to make a different kind of audience-inclusion show," Fleysher says. Butt Kapinksi was presented to the world in 2010 at the New York Clown Theater Festival, and since then, the show has gone on to receive a slew of awards and recognition.
So why have Australian audiences had to wait six years to have the detective prowess of Butt Kapinksi unleashed on us? "How does Australia feel about unleashing itself on me, that's a much better question. I've already been mounted by several middle-aged ladies during my shows, and that's just from my Adelaide Fringe Festival run," she recalls.
The film noir tropes are prominent in Butt Kapinski; the long trenchcoat, the voice and words, and the floor lamp that is stitched into the lining of the coat, flashing light and casting shadows upon audiences like they are being interrogated. "I think the show makes people wig out and feel totally at ease at the same time. Expect a little bodily fluid, expect a little magic," Fleysher tells me. "Now that I think about it, that's a good way to go through life."
There is still one mystery that both Kapinksi and Fleysher are hoping to solve while they are down in Melbourne however. "Is there kale in Melbourne? I really want kale!"So maybe when you book your tickets and go see Butt Kapinksi, have a little green gift hidden on your person.
If you had to name your child after a vegetable what would it be?
Which reality TV show would you most like to appear/compete on?
Toddlers and Kale. Kale Confidential. Extreme Kale.
The most irritating habit I have is kale.
What's a song that sums up your life?
Highway to Kale.
While in Melbourne, I really really really want to just walk down the street and feel like I live here, even if it's only for a moment.
Venue: The Tuxedo Cat, 293-299 La Trobe St, Melbourne
Season: 23 March - 17 April | Mon - Sat 7.15pm, Sun 6.15pm
Length: 60 minutes
Tickets: $24 Full | $21 Conc | $20 Tightarse Tuesday | $19 Previews
Bookings: MICF website