About ten years ago, our theatre company was getting ready to tackle one of the few “straight” shows we’ve ever done — by which I mean a show that’s already written, with a proven track-record of production on stage. The show was Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and it was kind of a monster. It required working with a lot of people we’d never met, including a rock and roll band and a complete cast of producers. To make matters more complex, we ran it at One Eyed Jacks, a bona fide rock and roll club in the middle of the French Quarter, meaning that our sets, costumes, and everything else had to be broken down every night so that a half-dozen punk bands could take the stage after we’d finished.
For all the work it requires, though, Hedwig is a small show — really, there’s just one lead, with a supporting actress, with the band pitching in from time to time. As a result, many of our regulars had nothing to do during the production. That was frustrating because the two reasons we started the theatre company in the first place were to (1) entertain ourselves, and (2) let the cast and crew earn some cash doing what they loved.
Around the same time, we wound up talking to Barbara Motley, the owner of Le Chat Noir, a very swanky theatre in the middle of the arts district. How we won Barbara over, how we convinced her that our lowbrow humor would be a good fit for her higher-brow audiences is beyond me, but we did it. And so, in the middle of Hedwig, we wound up running a second show: Kiki le Bonbon’s Cabaret Oh-La-La.
It wasn’t a great idea. The show was loose — probably too loose — and in our late-night slot, the audiences were slim. But we had fun, and the owner had fun, and a friendship was born.
Many, many productions later, the building that houses Le Chat is up for sale, and although the owner is committed to keeping Le Chat alive — even if it means moving to a new venue — no one’s sure what the future holds. So at the moment, it looks like our June show could be the last theatrical production on the Le Chat stage.
I originally wanted to put together a show that would serve as a tribute to Le Chat — something sweet with a bit of heart to it. In the end, though, nothing seemed right, nothing seemed organic, nothing seemed “us”. And so, we’ve opted for the obvious: a mashup of Mommy Dearest, Mildred Pierce, and some other Hollywood fodder. It may not be what we’d envisioned, but if the readthrough last night is any indication, we’re going to all go down laughing. (Which is, of course, how we like it.)
3 thoughts on “Coming In June: MILDRED, DEAREST! (Yeah, We’re Going There)”
after years on this piece of shit production, i doubt i would find humor. as gay men have proven — through this representation — to have not much in the balls category these days. after all, if embracing a continued showcase of being in other people’s spaces, rooms, homes, countries where you’re not wanted but making yourselves at home — truly stupid. yet, my sampling of new orleans hospitality was lacking due to this stupid production……hence, if something gay is a homophobic pile of illiterate pederast trash — count me out. it’s amazing to see that the representation — as the pile of crap stonewall library and archive (which i would spit on) — stands that you can’t handle being confronted with the truth of your being unwelcome apart from pathetic manners of molesting people as a degree of healthy relation beyond slithering into people’s bedrooms. when did gay people become so low bar, low rent, low class, low brow and high maintenance?? it’s truly the most pathetic enterprise i’ve ever seen through living around the world. the MOST pathetic apart from incredibly hypocritical…..not just a little slip off the wagon, but INCREDIBLY hypocritical.
I want you to do something for me. First, take your meds. You’ve missed a day. Second, don’t drink so heavily on the days you’ve missed your meds, and then type on the Internet. Third, after you are back on your schedule, and feeling even keeled, I want you to go to your local Walmart. (I am certain, given your prose style, that there is one very near you, and that you may already be getting a discount. Oh, and this is very important, before you leave for the Walmart? Give the keys to your place to the next door neighbor and ask them to feed and water your cat. You’ll begone for a while.) At the back of the store, just to the left of the Media and Electronics section, you’ll find Sports and Guns. There, I want you to buy a gun. You may have to come back in a week or so to get the gun, but that’s OK. Now you’lll need just one bullet, so if you buy a whole case of them, go ahead and take one and give the rest back.
Now behind the Walmart there are a line of very large blue dumpsters. I want you to put the bullet in one pocket and the gun in your pants. Climb into the dumpster. Close the lid. Now put the bullet into the chamber of the gun. Now place the gun in your mouth. Now pull the trigger.
We’ll make sure that the cat finds a good home.