Last night, The Pescadrome hosted a glorious bohemian evening. It all began with some luscious aerialists wrapping and swinging and altogether sexily hanging from red silks, and two scantily clad youngsters twisting and swirling from a big twirling hoop. Then we, Bohemian Dreams, were up to all kinds of musical and otherwise maniacal mischief: Opened with a sultry “As Time Goes By” with Gregory (The mad Ukrainian) on piano. Before I sang Jacque Brel’s “Ne me Quitte pas”, which Riccardo and I have translated the chorus to ” Stay with me”. I (Zizou the Courtesan Parisienne) yelled at him (Jean-Paul the cad from Provence) “I hate you! Stay! I hate you! Stay! Stay! I hate you…” and then sang, while he and others from the audience waltzed about with Gregore swooping in and around with his red accordion; turning the song into a stomping, driving Russian lament.
After Jean-Paul welcomed everyone he set the scene with the partly written, partly improvised prologue: “The war is over. It is a damp and dusky evening in Pigalle; the cabarets and sex clubs are just opening their doors…” Then invited everyone to dance with their sweet ones and I sang the endlessly romantic, “La Vie en Rose”. “Les Feuilles Mortes” (The Autumn Leaves) had them near tears. After this I proceeded to improvise a ‘not-so-swift’ change of clothes behind a dilapidated folding screen. Because it was crazy hot up on the stage, I was so sweaty and sticky, Riccardo had to help me haul and skooch off my bodice in order to put on my final outfit for the last song… throwing feather boas and skirts and such over the screen to all kinds of hoots… poking legs and heads around the side, in various states of dishabille and delight. Finally, stepping out, I let my hair down, grabbed my guitar and sang a baudy version of “Je ne ve pas Travailer”, (“I Do Not Want to Work”, wink, wink…)
It was a good segue to the extraordinarily bendy, flirty (tossing out a wacky smile from under some limb) sparkling, bikini-clad contortionist. And THEN we were thoroughly entertained by a twitchy, baby-face burlesque dancer who started out in a filmy, slinky, lacy pink nightie… (I thought, “I have one of those…hmmm”)
This act was followed by DJ Mac, who filled the dusky room with fabulous dance music, while the mirror ball turned and twinkled. We pushed chairs and tables out of the way and danced wildly with each other and anyone else who dared to join us. Finally wearing ourselves down, we made our way to the upper red lounge where the eloquent and charismatic Mark, with his well oiled handle-bar mustache and Raiders of the Lost Arc hat, (he’d been our master of ceremonies) held court, speaking sagaciously and luridly about what … I cannot seem to remember.
Mark’s tall and exotic babe, Corinna, (she of the endlessly long fish-netted legs, and top hat) was our attentive hostess. When the evening finally ended, she walked me out to my car, insisting I take a breath mint in case I get pulled over and breath-a lized… I told her, “I only had a shot of whiskey”. (Which I had brought with me in a tiny old jam jar; passing on the home made ‘Moonshine’ and grapefruit juice being offered)
I guess my wild and energetic capacity to be the life of the party sober had her fooled. Comme d’Habitude… (As usual)
Sometimes I think I’m channeling my Uncle Woody and my Mom, Blanca, at the same time. They had the some kind of Puerto Rican juju where they could work all day and dance all night. This last week I was not only preparing for the Bohemian Dreams performance, I also opened the 15th Annual Buddha Abides art show the night before, all the while having the phone attached to my ear while organizing and fielding every question and need possible for the up coming Children’s Festival at the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration. Woody and Mom would be proud. In fact, they may be in heaven now, but their spirits dance on through me and the rest of our wonderful, wild, unsinkable Batteau-Matos tribe.
All I have left to say is, thanks to all for making it possible for me to realize my Bohemian Dream. Love streaming…