Tonight at the Bearsville Theatre: Lady arm wrasslin'

Photo of Pushy Galore from B.R.A.W.L.

Tonight at the Bearsville Theatre: Valium-addled housewives and vengeful Puritans in hand-to-hand combat. WWF-style theatrics. Roving packs of vicious cheerleaders. What's not to love?

Since its explosive arrival on the local blood-sports-as-performance-art scene last year, B.R.A.W.L. (that's the Broads Regional Arm Wrestling League to you) has been kicking ass and taking names across both sides of the Hudson River, with one goal in mind: Total world domination. A Roll magazine article about the league paints an ominous picture of one of last year's matches:

The champion Nurse Hatchett had been observed receiving a potentially performance-enhancing injection pre-match. And the night’s take mysteriously disappeared, only to re-appear in the possession of a celebrity judge—Magenta Delecta—who then used the ill-gotten gains to purchase the entire league. (“I own these bitches,” she was overheard cackling.) Through quasi-religion and mind-control methods, she manages to control her thralls, using some sort of shamanic transubstantiation on what appear to be Necco wafers, which she places on each wrestler’s tongue pre-bout, intoning “this is the Body of B.R.A.W.L.” It seems to be effective, but yet there are dark murmurings . . .

Armed (so to speak) and ready for tonight's battle at 9pm at the Bearsville Theatre are eight fearsome ladies, each packing a rowdy entourage. Betting on your gal of choice is encouraged, and audience members are advised to bring plenty of cash.

We can't decide who to back. Pushy Galore's got a hell of an arm on her. The Captain's probably got serious guns from hauling fish out of the Bering Sea all winter long. And Heather Weissen can certainly hoist a stein. Safest thing is probably to spread your bets -- anyway, it's all going to charity, with 100% of the proceeds earmarked for Family of Woodstock's Battered Women's Services and the Cabrini Home for Girls Recreation Fund.

With just over a year of rumblin' and wrasslin' under their belts, B.R.A.W.L. has already earned over $6,000 for charity and been profiled in the Washington Post.

All of which raises the vital question: When are the Catskills going to get some homegrown roller derby action going? Consider that a challenge, people.