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Beautiful Black Chanterelle (Hex is a…)

October 14, 2016

14344142_1801091163481814_796930542879132812_nOn Lankershim Blvd, in macabre haven Hex (Directed by Vanessa Cate) summons up The Sacred Feminine; in a gravity stripping rite full of such sensual beauty, and grace as to be reminiscent of the ancient workings which must have inspired the spirit of the Babylon Working.

Vanessa leads a power Coven of goddesses, bespelling the audience from the start. Vanessa’s Hex is an intricate weave too, and one I will right now recommend you see more than once if you hope to unravel all of the beautiful layers of this living tapestry.

Though enthralled myself, I’ll try not to spoil the story. More in hopes that I won’t do an injustice to the depth of the overarching threads which weave through Hex.

Hex is a soaring emotional journey of all that is woman, as seen through the lenses of the Wicca, feminism, sexuality, expression, and art of all forms. Hex shows it all, our highs and lows, our sorrows and joys. The journey we travel as the stage becomes all that is real, would not be possible without the immensely talented performances of the entire Coven.

For some time Vanessa has been experimenting with expressing defining the boundaries and whole sum of feminine power and mystique through the power of the stage. Hex pushes this overarching theme in her carrier further than ever. Vanessa has honed a talent for showing her goddesses their inner beauty and strength, and then she shapes this glorious palate on stage painting wonderful and complex emotions.

The entire Coven radiated immense inner power and beauty, which backlit their talents on stage. With each Coven member gracefully moving on stage, emotions mixed and swirled. There is magick at Zombie Joe’s Underground this Samhain season.

With the Coven as the emotional pigments a beautiful black chanterelle of vignettes is presented to the audience. Old Crones can take an argument over a potion into a deep discussion on body and sex shaming, wonderfully blending the old world lexicon with modern issues, puns, quips and burns. The whimsical mixing of modernity into scenes in times long forgotten gives a strong touch stone for the audience to connect with, allowing the Coven to continue pulling the audience along.

Dynamically evoked raw emotional wisdom, over definitive knowledge; that is how you Hex conveys deeper meanings than words ever could. Much like how an artist doesn’t need words to describe the world they show us. While under the enchantment of Hex, the audience flows with the scenes feeling the story. How many different interpretations could one listen from the audience, after a show where a feral coven of werewolves vying for leadership give way into a Sapphic Werewolf Cabaret seduction scene reminiscent of the Paris Coven in Interview with the Vampire.

Hex is full of deep, dark sensual beauty, shown perfectly in their rendition of The Raven. I’ve read Poe since I was three or four. I’ve never seen The Raven so transformed in my eyes before. The power portrayed by the characters… The Raven is one of the scenes I look forward to seeing again the most. I won’t spoil it, you have to see Hex for yourself.

As the show comes to its denouement, the last threads of Hex resolved, you may see that the wheel keeps turning. Though there are many darker elements to Hex, that is true with life. The wheel keeps turning, highs and lows. Hex unites us though. It shows us that through all the ages, women weren’t just there and surviving, we were living, loving, and enjoying life.

Due to the fluid nature of Hex, I was unable to spotlight any single actresses by name, however I would like to highlight a few pieces which stood out largely due to the Coven members. The Raven, was breathtaking as I said above, the Speaker and the Raven have such chemistry. In the werewolf cabaret scene the dancing, the energy, the teasing sensuality… Then, there was a goddess scene, with Hecate and all the goddesses, the power in that scene.

The entire show I felt like my soul was drawn onto the stage with the most talented ensemble I’ve seen in a fluid performance piece. Each and every Coven member showed us their still beating hearts on stage, and did it with grace and power.

Hex (directed by Vanessa Cate) a True Focus Theater & Cabaret le Fey production, shows at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre in North Hollywood Tuesday nights at 10pm through October 25th.

For more information please visit

The Coven:

Cheryl Doyle, Caitilin Fowler, Deneen Melody, Marietta Melrose, Kat Nelson-Bergfeld, Alariza Nevarez, Emma Pauly, Sasha Snow Ashley J. Woods, with Vanessa Cate



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