Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Mystery Of Fraulein Festkleid and the Dance of the Seventeen Fabric Samples

Last night, at the Montauk Club in Brooklyn, my wife, Mashinka Firunts, performed a radio play:
"an aural-literary spectacle... a narrated bump-n-grind... a verbally articulated erotic dance... a suspenseful syllabic striptease." 

I had the pleasure of performing the role of the announcer, introducing the act by way of a pre-made recording played through an actual old radio, and then (in person) delivering the transitions between the acts and the intermission. 

It was a big success; the crowd packed in, hooting/ hollering... even catcalls (when in fact the only thing my wife removed was a single black glove). The story is this:  a woman, known as Fraulein Festkleid or Fraulein Franziska struts onto stage in sexy attire and everyone is ready for the usual show a woman on stage might give given certain kinds of music are playing & the stage is lit with certain kinds of lighting. The Fraulein begins to undress, and after a few things come off her body, shock hits the crowd, but not because of T&A. Rather, we see she's made of fabrics/ textiles, through & through, epidermal system & all. The delivery & descriptions make the work an impressive piece of formalism: the paragraphs, sentences, and words are undressed, sometimes exposing under-language: words seeming onomatopoetically dirty. 

I enjoyed the piece even before the performance, as I had rehearsed it with her, and played my part, but I hadn't expected it to not only satisfy the mob, but galvanize the remainder of the evening. 

Here's an excerpt:

Beneath the triple decker tulle dotted veil are two bakelite buttons with rhinestone accents in the place of eyes and pupils. Beneath her steel-boned satin charmeuse corsetry is a peplum torso with pintucked abdomen and a full bust of rose-tinted rayon with two asymetrically placed hatpins where areolas ought to have been. 

It is when the fashionable Fraulein Festkleid removes her pewter scalloped lace knickers that the remaining seated, conscious spectators’ bodies fall to the floor in a symphonic, stentorian boom. 

The Mystery of Fraulein Franziska and the Dance of the Seventeen Fabric Samples is so well-situated as a radio drama: the elements of the unseen, the fantastic, combined with live music, sound effects, and a vocally theatrical delivery manifest the seemingly immediate presence of protaganist, Feskleid. Mashinka has produced a script capable of reviving an otherwise sentimental and nostalgic medium/genre. I hope she continues in this mode, and I hope to get a recording (audio or video) of the performance to post at some point.

A photograph of Mashinka & I, taken on an old polaroid last night:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This sounds absolutely wonderful! I can't wait to see a video.


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