Saturday, January 19, 2008

Paulino Verde Cabaret

Show's closed now...I'll be doing my best to put together some coherent thoughts about the experience in the next week or so.

For now, I just wanted to drop a quick mention that I'll be performing as part of the Paulino Verde Cabaret -- it's a showcase being put together by dancer Paulino Brener to raise money for his green card. It's a good cause and a great lineup -- featuring dance from Patrick Scully, Jennifer Ilse, and Vessela Kouneva, puppetry from Masanari Kawahara, harp playing from Nicolas Carter, poetry from Tanja Katieb, and singing from Gabe Heller.

Given the nature of the cause, I've decided to do a piece from my travelogue Descendant of Dragons. I frequently showcase pieces from my plays -- in fact, many of them are written with that intent specifically in mind -- but I'm strangely reluctant to tour anything from this one, despite the fact that it's my most successful show. Or perhaps because of that fact -- my mixed feelings about it are still very much in force. There's some level on which I'm baffled by, and resent, its success. There's also a level on which I don't want to keep trotting out the same tired crowd-pleasers every time I get a gig. I performed it (or pieces from it) in Des Moines in July, Minneapolis in August, Rochester in December, and I'll be remounting it in Minneapolis in May-June. Is that overkill?

Maybe I'm psyching myself out about this too much. It's not as though I'm not writing -- I'm creating new material for the Rockstar and Vilification Tennis shows in February (more about those as they get closer), hosting the Rockstar show in March, and planning on writing and performing two full-length solo shows from scratch in April and May. But finding that balance between trotting out older, sturdier material, and forcing myself to create new stuff -- figuring out what percentage of what audience has already seen what, which material is tired and which has some new life in it -- I'm performing frequently enough now that it's a whole new balancing act I never anticipated. And I don't want to get stuck in a comfortable rut.

In any case, the show's tomorrow (Sunday) at 3pm at Patrick's Cabaret, $10.00 suggested donation. This falls on that list of "shows I'd be seeing even if I wasn't performing in it" -- it'll be a good time.