Solo Performance Festival
Tickets and Information
March 13th, 2010
I arrived ten minutes after ten, thinking I was late. Hardly. The doors were still locked. But within a few moments, someone opened it, and the other waiting guests and I were welcomed warmly. Despite having no proof of my free press ticket, I was ushered in for free. The first thing I did was order a Sodo Brown at the bar and settle on one of the cushy couches for a front row seat. At this point, I was one of only a dozen or so attendees, and the number barely doubled the rest of the night. But the hostess, Babette, did not seem in the least bothered by the small turnout. Babette was a woman dressed in a French maid costume of sorts, with a bad black wig, heavy makeup, and a gorilla-like way of stomping around and making noises. Using lettered signs, Babette began the monologue slam without the main hostess herself, Fou Fou.
I learned that a monologue slam goes a bit like this: the host calls for contestants. Contestants are called on stage and then must respond to a command of sorts by the host--such as tell a story using a title someone in the crowd makes up, or develop a character with only the name of someone’s great-aunt for inspiration. The contestants this night seemed drawn to participate less out of enthusiasm than out of resignation- like well, since no one else is here, I guess I might as well. That said, they gave a number of entertaining performances. In total, there were four monologue slammers- oddly, all of them blonde (including the short balding gay man). They began their rounds, when in walked Fou Fou herself- wearing little else but a leotard, some fishnet, and high heels. Fou Fou was a drag queen of supreme elegance, with a voice dripping like honey and oozing with high praise for the participants. Fou Fou and Babette did a fine job leading the slammers through the rest of their turns.
Some highlights included a team monologue, where two of the female participants created a story about two women who, angry about the reaction of their bosses at Hooters to their recent weight gain, come up with a plan that they think is clever indeed. Their plan is to open up a competing restaurant called “Bootie” in which the lower, rather than the upper part of the woman’s body is flaunted. Other highlights were the story of a farmer who invented the idea of a milking carousel, and a traffic accident where the offender was a giant crawfish. When the night concluded, I had gained a new hefty respect for monologue slams. Contestants are gutsy, and the good ones can think on the spot, whip numerous stories and accents out of their pockets, and have magical timing to get to a punch line before the host calls “time.” Congrats to the winner, who won two tickets to Teatro Zinzanni. I encourage all of you to get yourself to the next monologue slam- and to compete.
Guest review by Megan Horst
CURIOUS? The next Monologue Slam is March 27th. Get down there and show 'em what you got!
For more information and tickets to the festival, check it out here: http://www.theatreoffjackson.org/spf4.html