Sunday, March 14, 2004

'Lips' role took a foot of his hair

Shorn again! Matthew Pyle is back from the Jersey shore, where, he laughs, he was "convalescing from the trauma" of shedding his long blonde tresses for his art. "Meditative walks in the salt air, listening to the waves, contemplating the impermanence of all things. Especially hair."

Pyle, artistic director of Know Theatre Tribe, decided on the unkindest cut for his role as chief of staff to a lady president in Know's regional premiere of political satire, Lips, which opens Thursday and continues through April 3 at Gabriel's Corner (Sycamore at Liberty in Over-the-Rhine.)

Satire? In the not-distant future, Lips suggests a female president who wants to bring the issue of gay rights to the political party platform. If there's one thing Know, famous for bringing Cincinnati a small sensation with Corpus Christi, enjoys, it's pressing our hot buttons.

It's been three years since the last "significant" trim for Pyle. The last cut was for his starring role in Burn This for If Theatre Collective. This time, the stylish deed was performed by Kevin Palmer of Diva's on Main.

So far, so good, says Pyle. He placed tongue firmly in cheek and considers the downside of saying goodbye to more than a foot of hard-grown hair (which was contributed to Locks of Love). "I've had several near-drowning episodes with shampoo recently - I forget to cut back from half a bottle to a dime-sized dollop."

Pyle hasn't decided whether he'll let his mane grow out again.

There will be a pay-what-you-can preview of Lips at 8 p.m. Thursday. Meet the artists after the performance on Women's Theatre Initiative night March 25.

For information and reservations, call Know at 300-5669.

Jackie Demaline

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