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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Here is a little run down on all of the celebutants who came to the opening of Daddy and the performances: Assof Hochman, Alexander the Great of Macedonia, The Incredible Luigi, whose opinions matter more than life, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Nanna Heidenreich, Ulrich Ziemons, Master Patrick, Tenessee Clafin, Mario D of Slovakia, Marc Siegel, Daniel Hendrickson, Piero Bonhomme, Tim &kJohnny Blue, Cornel Collins, Salome & Richard Gersh, Wilhelm Hein, Annette Frick, Trixie Schönherr, Gunnar & Ted, Alfredo Hunter, Anna Mülter, super gay curator Frank Wagner,Catherine de Montferrand, Alden Ehrenreich, Imre & Lior, Joel Gibb, Weiland Speck, faggoty German TV actor Reiner Sellien who walked out in a prissy huff, Peter Priegann, Rene Schöneberger, Christophe Gürk, Hanna Hurtzig, Angelica Wedde, Sasha of bbooks, Ali Janka of Gelitin, Baby Papi Chulo, Moritz Müller, Patrick Wengenroth,Christian Siekmieir, Klaus Mattes, Ruth Schonegger, John Heys, Sexy Sasha, Jürgen Brunning,Isabelle Spengler, Lee Adams, Heinz Emigholtz, Birgit Hein, Richard Wagner of Zurich, Mattias Hasse, Matias Lienthal, Namosh the Turkish electro star, Tim Stüttgen, and Alexander of Theatre Institute.
So sorry i have been lax in writing. Sometimes i think that no one will notice, but if a few days go by and i havent written a word, i start getting an avalanche of emugs. Rehearsing and performing the run of the new play Daddy written by Travis Jeppeson and directed by Ron Athey at HAU 3 has drained me of all energies. Plus i missed seeing lots of visiting dignitaries to Berlin like famed American scholar Amelia Jones who came through town with her new husband.
Luckily head curator of the New Frontiers section of the Sundance Film Festival Shari Frilot literally stalked and kidnapped me treating the Vagimule doll to a scrumpteous feast at this Mehringdamn Greek restaurant. I´ve known Shari for centuries, when she started the famed MIX Festival in New York. She was also my boss at Sundance where i helped with programming before i moved to Berlin. It was great seeing the delightful lady Shari, and meeting her hot Iranian princess girlfriend Roya who is an academic. I had an adorable time catching up with Ms. Frilot, laughing and drinking with her, Nanna Heidenreich of Arsenal Experimental and DJane Olga Damnitz.
Now that Daddy has had its theatrical run, i can relax a bit, but not for long since i am leaving for London to host the indie rock band Gossips record release party. I am also doing some kind of movie with Beth Ditto & gang. I don´t know all the details as Gossip manager Tara, aka: Sexy Annie Oakley of the Sex Workers Art Tour has told me very little.
Well to say Daddy was a problematic production is just skimming the saturated fat off of the vitamin D enriched milkamagnesia. Every day there was crying, knockout sluggos, scandals, screaming and hairpulling. And those were the days we were getting along.
I thought the battles with art kollective CHEAP were something. Daddy took the proverbial pies cake. My take is that the difficulties emerged by going into the rehearsal process with a script that was waaaay too long. I am not a proponent of text based work, and this one not only was that, but was also very linier. I loved the basic story that Travis wrote, and saw the possibilities of having it realized by Ron Athey´s visual deluze adaze. With the genius of foxy Frenchman Christophe Chemin´s sets and costumes and the perfect makeup design of Tan Binh Nguyen, what could go wrong?
Luckily the alchemy of the Chemin/Nguyen/Sentürk triangle united the cast and crew into creating something quite impressive. But there were moments when i was really worried.
Susanne Sachsee as star showed what can happen when you focus your synergies. La Sachsse put on one sterling performance, nailing the tongue twisty Americanetic English text with gusto and flair. I´m a native English speaker and found some of the written cadences very challenging. Suzi, Evelyn Rüsseler and Artur Albrecht really met the challenge.
Frau Russeler is a dream and platinum treasure. Known primarily as a filmmaker this was her theatrical debut and she brought a lot of warmth and tenderness to her portrayal of a precocious black pre-teen. Evelyn has already been offered parts in other productions. Her beauty, and bright shiny expressiveness didn´t go unnoticed. Participating in Daddy was more of a one off for her. I think she prefers to concentrate on her brilliant experimental film practise.
Other standouts in the cast: Lady Gaby Bila-Günther, the Australian spoken word diva and Berliner expat veterana who played the lead Belinda. Gaby was a marvel with her sparkling delivery and honey grey/blue eyes. DJ Snax who created the seductive music and sound design is a beloved international performing favorite. He tore into his comic role as a FIT. Mr. Artur Albrecht as Preacher Creacher was brilliantly demented. Herr Albrecht was raised as a teenager by Fassbinder and the great Volker Spengler. The army of Belindas included a spirited and dedicated group of young talented actresses: Christine Ast, Sabine Böhm, Nora-Anna Hofmann and Karen Sünder who were great to work with. Ingo Ruggenthaler´s creative lighting design wass steller. And a special Joan Jett shoutout goes to legendary German scribe Diedrich Diederichsen for his hilarious video appearance as the judge. Assistant director Frederike Pietsch did a fine job handling the video portion of the piece. I like Fredericke, she´s lovely like a German version of Sandy Dennis if Sandy Dennis was a GDR double agent for the Stassi.
The plays writer Travis Jeppeson really put in a stirring performance in the title role. Christophe Chemin really captured Travis´true essence in the photo he took of him for the flier, and young Mr. J. didnt hold back on stage. The outfit he wore was so picture perfecta with that Hitler Aryan Youth haircut providing just the right goldenen touch.
I wasn´t thrilled with my own performance. I felt like i had to rely on my arsenal of Vagimulic stage trix and tactics. I´m a performer, not a classically trained actor so I dont feel i am able to make dialog written by someone else come alive properly. But its over now, and in all it turned out quite good.
During Cheap Blacky Judy LaBruce was doing double duty directing us and editing his film Otto. Poor Ron Athey was teaching performance workshops, directing and performing a museum performance and juggling a new romantic relationship. Yowza! Now thats what i call multi-tasking.