In Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical, an aging socialite grows fur and claws to recapture her philandering game hunter husband’s attention. Using puppets and masks to augment the body, this solo cabaret performance playfully unpacks desire and the contagion of identity with songs that examine the making of a monstrosity.
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So your billionaire trophy husband lost interest in you and now he prefers pooping diapers to Big Game hunting inside your tights – what’s a society girl to do? If you’re Jocelyn Wildenstein, you get more surgery than Michael Jackson and end up looking like a stray cat in a burn ward. The draggy Marsian picked up the story and ran with it like she’s the reincarnates Weekly World News. She transforms this cautionary tale into one person mixed media show, suitable for all mature Fringe Festival audiences. This unique piece of musical performance art is part of this year’s rather smallish Orlando Puppet Festival, and appears in conjunction with Macabre Vignettes art exhibit at the Cameo Theatre. Arriving late, I didn’t get the full effect of Macabre Vignettes, but I recommend the 8 foot metallic creature munching canaries out of a cage, and the combination Chem lab / Goth bar in the back. Other interesting sculptures and paintings adorn the walls, but this twisted puppet show is the main attraction.
Author and actor Marsian took a clever angle on the sad decent of Ms Wildenstein. She portrays both Jocelyn and hubby Alec with a double sided costume, allowing character switches with a spin of the high heal. Her supporting puppets include Jocelyn’s best friends May Moon, a brown felt monkey. I don’t get the monkey / plastic surgery connection, but maybe it’s a side affect of the anesthetics. As the show proceeds, her full size hubby repeatedly shrinks to a small cardboard cut out, leaving her abandoned and deformed. The songs are blunt yet effective, Mr. Monkey advises here “Cash the Check, leave the house” and Marsian charges through that tune and the rest with vim and vigor. I rarely check the tabloids anymore since celeb cellulite isn’t nears as much fun aliens endorsing presidential candidates, so this show is a great way to catch up on the E! level gossip you might have missed. I’ll offer one piece of advice – if you have a choice between this show and Googeling “Wildenstein”, see the show. The real pictures are too scary to contemplate.