Stuffed and Mounted was the opening number from Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical.
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.
The weird and tragic love story wildly reimagines tabloid accounts of the real-life “cat woman”, Jocelyn Wildenstein. As the protagonist’s marriage dissolves, she begins to reinvent herself through drastic measures. But biomedical and surgical procedures to become more feline only heighten her sense of estrangement and embolden her quest to find a fiercer sense of self.
We begin on a Kenyan Game reserve populated by amorous wild creatures – including Jocelyn and future husband, Alec, who are engaged in their own kinky animalistic role play. When the taxidermy hits Jocelyn in the head, it triggers the memory of a hunting trip in which Alec shot a lion that was attacking her. At the moment of impact, Jocelyn realizes she’s been bitten by the love bug and the two begin Stuffed and Mounted, a duet about falling in love.
From Alec’s perspective, Jocelyn is the latest acquisition to his collection of taxidermy, purloined artworks, (and presumably other women). Although he’s overweight with a small penis, Jocelyn sees Alec as a savior and sings about her escape from the dull drums of the Swiss Alps as a low wage seamstress. But when Alec gifts Jocelyn with a pet monkey, named May Moon, to seal the deal it really hooks her in. The love song mutates into a wedding march and by the end a photo of the marriage appears as the cover story of the New York Post
For this number about falling in love, I played Jocelyn on the front side of my body and her husband Alec on the back. The double sided costume was designed by Hunter Wells with specialty corseting by Lee Perez Vargas.
I have performed Stuffed + Mounted as both part of the full musical and a stand alone number in Los Angeles at REDCAT, in New York at The Tank, and in Waterford, Connecticut at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. I developed Bride of Wildenstein at CalArts and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. I have also staged productions in New Orleans at the New Orleans Fringe, and in Orlando at The Gallery at Avalon Island and Cameo Theatre. In 2010 with Automata and Ibex Puppetry co-presented the premiere of Bride of Wildenstein at the Velaslavasay Panorama in Los Angeles.
Bride of Wildenstein was developed at CalArts and the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center with funding from The Durfee Foundation and Ibex Puppetry.