Friday, August 23, 2019

DEENIE NAST IS BACK!


Been offline here for a bit. I took thousands and thousands of pix at the Fringe festival, all of which has to be edited. Then a ton of regular work had the nerve to slap me in the face and I gotta clear my desk before Mrs. C and I head out of town on Tuesday.

So back to the shows. Artica regular Audrey Crabtree has created a hilarious character, Deenie Nast, a has-been Hollywood and Broadway star who still wants attention. The stories she tells and the images projected behind her are a little far-fetched. By the illustrations she could be over a century old. I think there was one B&W photo of her giving a peck on the cheek to W. C. Fields. 

She's lived a hard life, apparently with no regrets. Deenie regaled the audience with the wonder  of herself but couldn't keep up the pace. Medical attention of a sort had to be called to keep her off the floor.           







Wednesday, August 21, 2019

TWOFER - I K(no)W / Kellita Maloof- The Medicine Show / Dr. Ken Haller

To have a chance of posting images for most of the Fringe shows before Mrs. C and I leave on our next adventure, I decided to do posts that have two of the solo acts. First we have Kallita Maloof from San Francisco, who achieves a measure of peace through burlesque. She visualizes dialing up and down her body's knobs for energy, stress, pain, rhythm and fluidity while performing self-affirming and, shall we say, visually stimulating performances. She finds it helps to control her ulcerative colitis.

Below is physician Ken Haller, a local doc who has a fondness for Broadway and cocktail lounge song with lyrics turned quite topical. He is also a poignant story teller, describing his moments with a dying teen and his parents, as well as the experience of being a gay man in his medical residency in New York at the fearful dawn of the AIDS epidemic. BTW, I couldn't resist editing the last photo in B&W. So film noir

Both of these shows made me think of the pair of comedy and tragedy masks that symbolize theater. 

Oh, and yesterday was Ellie's sixth birthday. Gotta squeeze that in somewhere,              










Monday, August 19, 2019

WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS


Sorry no post yesterday. I had 10 or 11 hour shooting days over the weekend. Came home, fell asleep immediately, got up, downloaded cards and then back to work.

I got to almost all the Fringe shows. This one, When Women Were Birds, was extraordinary. A group of gymnasts/aerialists performed a ballet high off the floor, supported by anything from scarves to chains. These pictures only provide a taste of the experience. It was hard to photograph with the high contrast levels and movement in a dark room.

The show and its director, Jessie Davis, won what amounts to the grand prize for the festival, the Fringemeister Award. And by the way, they gave your sometimes humble shooter the Fringe lifetime achievement award as the dogged house photographer, although this was only my fourth year. I blushed.             





Saturday, August 17, 2019

HYMNS AND OSCILLATIONS


The amazing Matthew Marcum, who came back to visit us this week with his new show, Hymns and Oscillations. It was part intense meditation, part primal scream and part hyper-energetic dance party. I got so many good pictures of him and there is so much more to say about the show but I wanted to get something posted before I go back for today's shoot.          


Friday, August 16, 2019

TERROR. SECURITY. ART.


Last night I saw what might be the most powerful show I've ever witnessed at the Fringe. Crawling With Monsters is a multimedia narrative about the people who live in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, directly across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Texas. Reynosa is dominated by narcos. The state has nearly collapsed. 

Violent, sometimes random murders are the order of the day. The narcos are armed as well as the military. Gun battles in the street are common, day and night. Kidnappings are endemic, for ransom or sometimes the exploitation of children. Hundreds of people a year go missing. A popular music group disappeared. They were later found dead, their bodies thrown into a well, many of them decapitated. The good local people have no hope. This group, Latino Theatre Initiatives, is trying to let the rest of the world know.

I spoke to the director after the show. He asked me to mask the eyes of the performers to make face recognition more difficult. Even appearing here in St. Louis creates risk at home. I have so many more good pictures, most of them with tragic, beautiful eyes. It saddens me as a photographer that I cannot show them to you but the cast's safety is more important than my portfolio. I hope everyone in the STL area can see this show.         

Thursday, August 15, 2019

AN EVENING OF STANDUP


The Fringe got rolling last night with a couple of hours of standup comedy. Most of the comics were local, except for the first one, Krish (short for Krishna, not Christopher) Mohan from Pennsylvania. He was here last year and was so popular he was invited back. Some of the locals were seasoned while others were just trying to establish themselves.        

Lots more to come.








Wednesday, August 14, 2019

LOOK! THE FRINGE IS OPEN!


Opening night ceremonies Tuesday evening. We didn't really need someone pointing the way but the expression on the child's face shows the general enthusiasm. Impresario Matthew Kerns introduced many of the acts, including Artica regular Audrey Crabtree portraying a fallen Hollywood star trying, rather pathetically, to climb her way back up.  

Tickets for all Fringe shows are available at https://www.stlouisfringe.com/ .