Every day Westword receptionist Steve Burge gives you the fashionable view from the front desk.
Denver’s resident Diva, Ms. Karen Slack is an All-American girl from the shoulders down, sporting a simple black sweater and, a staple in every American’s wardrobe, a pair of blue jeans. Ms. Slack adds a little Middle Eastern touch to her ensemble, however, by transforming a violet scarf into a Hijab. The Hijab is worn by Muslim women as a part of their traditional garb whenever they leave their homes. “When a Muslim woman steps into the community, she must be covered,” Karen explains. “Her hands can be seen, but no other skin can show. Her hair is worn under a Hijab and her body is covered by an Abaya.” Ms. Slack wears the clothes and skins of nine different Muslim women in her one-woman show, 9 Parts of Desire, playing now at the Curious Theatre. Slack mesmerizes her audience with this powerful performance and proves that though these women may hide their bodies, they certainly do not hide their passions. “I think there’s something sort of freeing about the idea of an Abaya. You can be wearing anything underneath. Anything. It’s a mystery, isn’t it? It offers some anonymity which, I think, can be very attractive.” Indeed, there is a lot of mystery attached to the Muslim world still, and certainly to the women of the land and faith. Ms. Slack gives us a rarely seen glimpse into the psyche and heart of a strong and beautiful people with a performance that is bound to leave you speechless. Like the women she portrays, Karen Slack, herself, is gorgeous and mysterious. And as far as her make-shift Hijab is concerned? It’s not just fun and fashionable. It also serves a purpose when worn in Colorado, versus the Middle Eastern deserts. “It’s kind of cold outside today,” she giggles. “This keeps my head warm.” Pretty and practical. Makes sense to me, love.
9 Parts of Desire closes this weekend, so order your tickets today by calling The Curious Theatre at 303-623-0524. (Shows start at 8:00 pm on Friday and Saturday.)
- Steven J. Burge