Tonight I debut a one-man show to New Orleans, Out Comes Butch, a 50-minute monologue written in San Francisco in the 1970s about gender identity and self-creation. Over the course of the monologue, I transform into 6 different characters, with costume changes happening in real time. I'm working with 6 very distinct voices for the men, women, straights, gays, lesbians, transgendered.
I adore the costumes. Veronica Russell, who costumes the Louisiana Living History Theatre and of course made my John James Audubon clothes, really worked with me and the script to develop visual transformations. Some pieces tear off, some tie on. For each of the "Butches", Veronica developed a strong look. My favorite piece is the leisure suit jacket with the pink flamingo on the back.
The space is quirky, but works well for the material. It's a notorious former drug den, the Voodoo Lounge, on the very edge of the French Quarter. The name sounds like underbelly glam, but Voodoo was pretty icky. They shut down and nobody noticed. Michael Martin, my director and friend, is taking the risk of re-opening the Voodoo as a theatre folks hang out, with performance and rehearsal space for rent. Out Comes Butch is the debut show. Overlapping my rehearsals, Michael's housemates have been mopping, dumping, and wiping yuck out. Smells like Pine Sol now.
More to come...