Joan back in her heyday!
What a great day of production and I did it all in my flannel pajamas!
Today I spent about three hours with Michael Musburger discussing the January 8th “Gypsy Rose Lee Centennial Celebration” at The Triple Door.
Michael is pulling a band together for this show as Burlesque is always better with Live Music! Michael and I went through my Burly Music Library, much of which has been given to me by Scott Ewalt. We want to keep the music between the 30’s and 50’s, grated that is 20 years of music but our focus is on what was popular at the time and what was in Burlesque Halls.
The show we are creating will be played out as our own edition of “Master Piece Theater” with Miss Astrid as the Host and Joan Arline, Catherine D’Lish, Lily Verlaine, Inga Ingenue and I will be performing examples of Gypsy’s signature styles, and a few non performative things as well are in the works , a reading by Sarah Rudioff from the soon to be released “American Rose” by Karen Abbott and a Tableaux Vivant by Nick Garrison. Scott Ewalt sent me some MP3’s of Gypsy Rose Lee performing live and they sure are inspiring! Deciding what I want to do is very difficult.
Today I also spent some time on the phone with Joan Arline, discussing show’s with Joan is stepping through a worm whole to the past (Joan will be 78 on December 3rd) while classy and poised she certainly is the definition of a broad, and I feel as though I’m in 1949 discussing this production with her (this is the second time for her to come to Seattle for one of my shows and she has been in several of the shows I’ve produced for The Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas).
Joan as any performer in Burlesque is always angling for more acts per show and longer sets per act while trolling you for what other productions you may have down the bend. I find it charming that Joan at 77 still has that performer drive and ambition to be on the stage in the bright lights and shaking me down about who I could connect her to, I enjoy that part of the hustle though I would not want to have that conversation everyday. There is a lot to lean from these ladies, the pitch and the push !
The generation gap of technology is always an interesting one to leap across when working with these old gals. I really do find it much easier when the show has live music as most of these ladies still have their music charts and that is the way they are used to working (well that doing 20 minute sets, but I’m not sure the modern day audience has the attention span for that), I still laugh when I think about La Savon asking me if we could accommodate a reel to reel tape at the BHOF Reunion in 2007, that is when I asked if she had grandchildren… Anyway I can’t wait to lay my eyes on copies of Joan’s original charts, they were too big for her to copy at home so she had to take to Office Max to have them reduced. They arrive in the mail this week so Michael can get going on her part of the show.
This is a photo of Joan backstage from a production of “Gypsy” that she performed in last year in Palm Springs, she will be bringing this costume along for a little fun we are brewing up with Lily Verlaine ; )