Written, directed and composed by David J (Bauhaus / Love & Rockets), The Chanteuse and the Devil’s Muse is an ambitious and beautiful multimedia play with live music, Butoh dance, acting, projections and ballet. I shall be playing violin and cello alongside Ego Plum, who co-composed the music, and David J (Bauhaus / Love & Rockets) will of course be singing and playing guitar.
THE SHOW WILL BE STAGED IN 2012, DATE AND VENUE TO BE CONFIRMED.
Marilyn Manson‘s painting inspired by the Black Dahlia will be on public display, on loan from the personal art collection of Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers). The event will be opened by Jill Tracy, performing her uniquely noir songs. Shepard Fairey and Don Bolles will DJ at the after party, so plan to stay for a full evening of high quality entertainment!
The Black Dahlia story is real, and has inspired countless works of art because of her beauty and grace, her glamour and her enigma, and the brutal tragedy of her untimely death. The truth of Elizabeth Short’s murder can never be known, and her short and tragic life has left precious few traces beyond the clues to the crime. However, a considered exploration can extract meaning and authenticity from shadows.
The infamous Black Dahlia murder provides a snapshot into the elegant darkness of 1947 Hollywood, as well as a mirror into the mind of her cultured, sophisticated and monstrous killer, George Hodel. David J’s play ‘The Chanteuse and the Devil’s Muse’ approaches the Black Dahlia murder sensitively, delicately considering the horror and pondering Hodel’s aims and motives.
The Million Dollar Theatre is located at 307 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, and is conveniently within walking distance of Downtown’s finest hotels, including The Standard and The Biltmore, who offer ‘The Black Dahlia’ on their fabulous cocktail menu!
The play was developed at the Bootleg Theatre from September 8th to 17th, generating excellent press from the LA Times, LA Weekly and more, and a ton of word-of-mouth buzz created by the movers and shakers who came to see it. This Theatrification event is officially supported by LA Weekly, KTLA, and the City of Los Angeles as a part of Broadway 100
Bravo David… to Beauty!
Los Angeles Magazine says:
“The shadowy accompaniment by David J, Ego Plum (The Ebola Music Orchestra) and Ysanne Spevack (Smashing Pumpkins) compliments the excellent stagecraft”
LA Weekly says:
“Dreamy, surreal visuals… the Butoh dance sequence brilliantly performed throughout by Vangeline. When Daniele Watts as Ms. Comfort steps up to the mic, she gives a breathtaking rendition of a torchy blues song.”
The Los Angeles Times says:
“That gothic sensibility is very much on display in this new play… David J and collaborating composer Ego Plum, along with violinist Ysanne Spevack, contribute effectively creepy live music”
The Los Angeles Stage Times wrote a fabulous in-depth preview feature about the play, including an excellent interview with David and photos of the production. Please click the above link to read the interview.
There were also some more leftfield reviews including:
Bitter Lemons Critique of the Week, which says:
“Butoh dancer Vangeline creeping you right the fuck out, one element you will never get from NBC.”
Hits Daily Double says:
“David J, along with violin player Ysanne Spevack and keyboardist Ego Plum of the Ebola Music Orchestra, create a Brecht-Weil-esque rock opera cloak.”
Film Noir Blonde says:
“The production uses three interwoven devices: a dramatization; live music from Haskins, Ego Plum and Ysanne Spevack; and butoh dance by acclaimed performer Vangeline.”
“there’s a whole lot going on in “The Chanteuse and the Devil’s Muse,” from musical performances by David J himself (backed up by co-composer Ego Plum and Ysanne Spevack) to a creepy interpretation of the murdered girl’s posthumous psyche by butoh dance artist Vangeline and a projection of the entire climactic scene of 1955 film noir classic “Kiss Me Deadly.” Not to mention a two-character play involving the police interrogation of suspected killer Dr. George Hodel’s mistress Madi Comfort.”
And the San Diego Reader explores Elizabeth Short’s local San Diego connections, mooting the idea that:
“Strangely, and somewhat disturbingly, the movie Short almost certainly saw was actually THE BLUE DAHLIA.”