On Friday, September 25th, 2009, I performed Stuffed and Mounted, the opening duet from Bride of Wildenstein – the Musical at the Tank in New York City. In Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical, an aging socialite grows fur and claws to recapture the attention of her philandering game hunter husband. The performances were part of Puppet Pandemic, a showcase of work developed at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center as part of The National Puppetry Conference. Proceeds went to fund the Alumni Scholarship.
In this particular number, “Stuffed and Mounted”, I played the cat woman, Jocelyn Wildenstein on my front side, and her philandering game hunter husband, Alec on the back. In this iteration, music was composed by Josh Senick with costumes by Lee Frank and Hunter Wells.
Described as “demented, touching, and inherently strange” by Flavorpill (Los Angeles), Bride of Wildenstein was a weird and tragic love story that examined the making of a monstrosity through one woman’s personal struggle, and the loss of her sense of self.
As her marriage dissolves, she begins to reinvent herself through drastic measures – surgical procedures to become more feline, which only further heighten her sense of estrangement. The heroine’s story is loosely inspired by tabloid accounts of the real-life “cat woman”, Jocelyn Wildenstein. In it I hoped to gently turn the abrasive glare of the mirror onto the face of the audience and pose the question, Have you ever gone too far for love?
Performances at Puppet Pandemic were:
- September 25th, 2009 at 7:30PM
- September 26th 2009 at 3:00PM
- September 26th 2009 at 7:00PM
Leslie Carrarra-Rudolph, Lolly, and Jim Napolitano hosted the following performers and their pieces:
- Ryan Dillon with “Train of Thoughts”
- Honey Goodenough with “Handle with Care”
- Carole Simms D’Agostino with “Flirty Birdie”
- Eric Wright with “Taps”
- Marta Mozelle MacRostie with “On All Fives” and “Morning Toast”
- Alissa Hunnicutt with “Raggedy Ann”
- Brodrick Jones with “Knitting Granny”
- Jon Levin with “Coffee”
- Carole Simms D’Agostino with “Excess Baggage”
- Jon Little with “The Seagull and the Airplane”
- Bonnie Berkowitz with “Violin Lesson”
- Jamie Haas-Powell with “Hide and Seek”
- Lindsey “Z” Briggs with “This Will Only Hurt a Little”
- Marina Tsaplina “Unsatisfied”
- Elizabeth Hara with “I Want Candy”
- Ed Valentine with “Alaska”
Curated by Honey Goodenough, Puppet Pandemic was a showcase of works developed at the National Puppetry Conference, that explored the infectious nature of puppets. From marionettes to papier mache mayhem, puppeteers bred new strains of creativity and redefined conventional notions of puppetry
From the press release:
Like a pandemic, the passion for puppetry is spreading! The only cure – a prescription of puppet performances!
All profits from performances benefited the Alumni Scholarship for the National Puppetry Conference, in order to continue propagating provocative theatrical works. If you are so inclined, you can make donations here.
At the time, The Tank was located at 354 W. 45th Street between 8th and 9th. As a non-profit arts presenter, it serves emerging artists engaged in the pursuit of new ideas and forms of expression. One of their goals is to foster an environment of inclusiveness and remove the burden of cost from the creation of new work for artists launching their careers and experimenting within their form.