Venus at Signature Theatre

Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus
A young Khoikhoi woman from southern Africa, Baartmaan (Zainab Jah) traveled to London in 1810 with visions of earning a mint as a “dancing African princess”; instead, dubbed the Hottentot Venus, she became celebrated attraction at the freak shows then in vogue. The focus was on her formidable, steatopygous rump: poke-bait to curiosity-seekers of all castes. At the Venus’s unveiling, a septet of ensemble cast members are done up as Crayola-coiffed toffs. Who are the real freaks here?
Venue name: Pershing Square Signature Center Contact:
Address: 480 W 42nd St New York 10036 Cross street: at Tenth Ave
Transport: Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St–Port Authority
Price: $30

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