Last weekend at Nat’s. <3
“On a balmy summers day, high upon the roof of Natalie Elizabeth Weiss’ Bed-Stuy apartment, Patti Kilroy performs Sonata No. 2, Op. 27 (for Jacques Thibaud) composed by Eugene Ysaÿe. She performs the Sonata’s third movement, called Danse Des Ombres (Dance of Shadows.)
Banana Boat Dark Tanning Oil provided by Christopher Weiss, music stand provided by Grant Wheeler and videography provided by Rachel Steele.”
From the brilliant mind and world of the lovely Natalie Elizabeth Weiss.
These break-up cakes on my friend’s blog made me giggle. I’m really looking forward to baking one for someone, though you know, I don’t wish a break-up upon anyone per se.
Break Up Cakes
by natalie weiss + marissa hinds
I won’t be the first reviewer to call Camp Wanatachi, a musical about lesbian sexual awakening at a Christian summer camp, subversive, and it is, but it is also masterfully subversive and poignant. Written by Natalie Elizabeth Weiss (of Unicornicopia) and directed perfectly by Matt Cowart, they never simplify, or worse, pander to the emotions of the pre-teen and teen set, rather recognizing that their emotions are both complex and straightforward because one hasn’t yet mastered (do we ever?) how to handle them. And sexual awakenings, in any form, can be pretty confusing. The play shows its campers struggling with the concept of doing the right thing while still being young enough to believe it is just that simple, and then painfully learning it is not; which I’d argue, is a beautiful process.
Marissa O’Donnell as Jana, is the play’s emotional center, and a shoe-in for Wanatachi princess, until she starts questioning her beliefs when she falls head over hormones for Titi, played by the charismatic, Krystina Alabado, a girl who wears “heels to summer camp.” Alyse Alan Louis, in Goth-garb as a Freak for Jesus, is hilarious but never one-note, and Keaton Whittaker plays Lauren, a cheerleader and Jana’s BFF who feels misplaced once Titi arrives on the scene.
Camp Wanatachi is hilarious and moving and backed by an electronic score (composed by Weiss with the electronic music from glitch-hop, lovestep pioneer Travis Stewart -aka Machinedrum and half of Sepalcure) that is as forward thinking as the musical itself. This electronica is steps (okay, miles if you want to see my condescending side) above what you’re likely to hear in the average club, but can certainly be found if you know where too look. The lightning design, from Marc Janowitz is phenomenal, and the cast is pitch perfect with a great sense of comedic timing, impressive, as most are teenagers. Weiss, who also stars as the girl’s music counselor, Corky, delivers an upbeat performance that straddles the world Britney Spears did no service to in the song “Not a girl, not yet a woman.” During music class/worship service, my sense of propriety was the only thing keeping me in my seat and not dancing along with the Christian campers. Thom Miller plays Joel, Corky’s love interest at the neighboring all boy’s camp, and he delivers a highly comedic performance in a role that takes an unexpected but not wholly unsurprising twist. A scene in the camp’s mess hall shines and shines a light on the precarious relationship between girlhood and food.
Camp Wanatachi just finished it’s run at La Mama etc with sold-out performances, bad news if you snoozed on tickets or are just hearing about it now, but the good news is, their success should guarantee them many runs to follow.