Monday, June 27, 2011

6.26.2011, FTW

Since the li'l Stoogeband had to pull out of the FW Weekly Music Awards thingy but I had the day off anyway, my sweetie 'n' I went to Jubilee Theater to catch the final performance of the revival of Rudy Eastman and Joe Rogers' 2002 musical Alice Wonder and give Mondo Drummers honcho Eddie Dunlap, who kicks the traps with his old Master Cylinder bandmate Rogers in the Jubilee pit band, a book of photos that she took during the drummers' semi-monthly visits to Jo Kelly School this year.

Alice Wonder's a modern-day retelling of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland story, with the estimable Sheran Goodspeed Keyton (whom I saw inhabit the role of Bessie Smith at Jubilee a few years back) in the title role. It's the kind of show Jubilee made its name on under the leadership of its late founder Eastman, who passed in 2005 -- a ribald, rollicking, and ultimately uplifting romp, saturated with the spirit of the blues. Besides Keyton, 30-year Jubilee mainstay Robert Rouse shone as Cat Daddy (imagine the Cheshire Cat as a natty pimp, with his backup singers the Red Hot Pussies), as did the operatically-trained Keron Jackson as the Queen of Hearts (a towering drag queen who gets pushed onstage astride a pink toilet), but really, the entire cast (several of whom also perform with Keyton's DVA Productions) was a gas.

I remembered Eddie's offhand comment that "We'll probably never do this [show] again" when I saw Keyton and Rouse _nearly_ come out of character with emotion as the finale approached. New artistic director Tre Garrett makes his directorial debut with Once On This Island, which will run July 22 through August 21. Hopefully he'll be a better fit for Jubilee than Ed Smith was, and Jubilee will find a way to keep Rudy's spirit, which was definitely present for this arvo's performance, and shows like Alice Wonder alive in their repertoire.

Afterward, we fell by the Flying Saucer for a snack and a couple of pints before heading back to la casa, circumventing the "curmudgeon zone" before the multitudes came out for the Weekly event. Will have to try and make it back to Jubilee to check 'em out during the coming season.


Blogger FWWeekly's Coverage of LSIFF '08 said...

Well, I believe you never would have entered "the zone," such were the local-music-loving unwashed and caliber of talent on display at the Weekly Music Awards Festival.

5:44 PM  

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