If you’ve been reading these posts the last couple of weeks, you’ll know that my birthday and my wedding anniversary fall in the same week. It sometimes turns into a week-long celebration, and this year was no exception. After a pleasant birthday dinner with friends, a couple days later we had lobster, bread and cheese, and drank wine under the willow tree in the back yard on our anniversary, then the next night went to a… show…at a place in the Denny Regrade area of Seattle. Neither of us had any idea what to expect, but hey, we’re open minded, fun-loving, so it was all a grand adventure.
The front part of the Little Red Studio is a bistro/bar, all heavy curtains, low light, and intriguing looking patrons in muffled conversation punctuated by clinking glasses, surrounding what looks to be a rectangular fainting couch, draped in brocade and strewn with inviting pillows. Only it’s hard wood underneath, so I was quite grateful I didn’t throw myself backward onto it, like I’d been thinking about since I entered the room and saw it. In a hallway between the bistro and performance area we claimed our tickets from a couple of the cast members, one a little person who said to call him Professor Big. (Actually, I mis-heard him and thought he said Professor Pig, which I thought was odd, not very flattering or even funny, really, until the next day Joe was talking about him and I finally got it. Such is the Life of Lori.) We went back to the bistro to get drinks (no alcohol in the studio), and discovered this tall four-sided canvas and wood-framed contraption, narrower at the bottom than at the top, and you could throw super balls into it and it would make this wonderful echoing, musical bonking noise as it bounced its way down the hidden slats inside. Of course, Joe and I could have stayed there for hours. I was feeling tall in my retro platform shoes that went so well with my retro polka-dot halter dress, and happily receiving compliments, until a tall-already man came in, also wearing platforms, decked out in a King Louis type coat in zebra pattern, accented with leopard print on the foot wide sleeves, and gold braid and bells, from the hips down puffed out with crinoline underneath so that sideways he was about as wide as I am tall. Not a very crowd friendly outfit, but magnificent, nonetheless. He said he bought it at the Seattle Rep costume auction, and I was quite jealous. I scored major points when one of his bells fell off after an expansive gesture and rolled under a packed table nearby and I dove under to retrieve it for him before he even noticed it was gone.
When we finally entered the studio we had to pause right away, as on a platform just inside the entrance a pregnant woman, quite far along and wearing nothing but a scarf across what was left of her overshadowed lap, was being tenderly painted by another woman. The music was soft, the lighting exquisite, and I was drawn to the shining blue and green swirls of the planet earth on the woman’s protruding mound-o-baby-to-be. In stark contrast, but no less tender, somehow, on the main stage/floor area there was a little aerialist/bondage action going on, but it was just ending, and I was okay with that. To hide the reaction on my face, I decided to be preoccupied with the seating arrangements, which consisted of several cushy leather couches, velvet red booths, with high sides and backs, cuddling thrones for two, really. We settled on ornate pillows on the edge of the performance area.
There was a lot going on, with everything from skits (Professor Big was a detention teacher in this one, wielding a yard stick about the same height as he was), to comedic monologue, to poetry readings, a public birthday spanking, (a little silent wide-eyed prayer here by me, hoping Joe hadn’t told them it was my birthday a few days ago, as I am highly averse to public spankings involving me on hands and knees on a platform surrounded by a crowd, no matter how interesting and encouraging they are) to a magical piece involving a shapely naked woman on a table and fire. It all had the feel of what I imagine a French salon in the 30’s would be like. One of the more audience interactive segments, began with a woman singing a bluesy song, carrying a pot of paint brushes, handing them out as she put us under her spell. We were then handed teacups, and shells filled with various colors of paint, and the next thing you know the song’s over and two men and a woman, without a stitch of clothing, are posing on small boxes center stage. Well. When you have paint and a brush in hand and a naked canvas, as it were, you must paint! It was all so natural and full of camaraderie. I claimed all three sets of nipples; targets, flower petals (for the woman) and eyes. I also tried to paint some lips on the rear cheek of one of the men, but kind of screwed up and was temporarily flustered trying to figure out how to erase it, so just turned away leaving it a sort of Rorschach blotch. It’s a butterfly; it’s a turtle; it’s an attempt at lips by a 48 year old woman who has the artistic talent of a 3 year old with an injured hand.
Later on we were all invited to put on costumes and hats presented on racks for our free-for-all use. I found an incredible bejeweled red velvet foot tall Vegas show-girl type hat, and was happy with that until I saw a man in a long cape (short on him) I was totally coveting and which would have looked so much better on me. Joe was wearing a black dress shirt and Utilikilt that night and the top hat he chose and decorated with sheer multi-colored ribbons looked perfect. Kind of like a fancy undertaker driving a black carriage look. At the end, the floor opened up to dancing (DJ’d by a sexily clad woman with legs to die for, with a voice that was suspiciously deeper than Joes), and I danced/sidled over to Professor Big, muscled, shirtless and wearing the cutest little Utilikilt ever known to man. Wondering again why he was called Professor Pig.