For the past few months, Emily Blong and her co-conspirators have been hard at work writing and rehearsing songs, sewing costumes, and building the set for her new Broken Velcroe Cabaret at Sancho Gallery. Blong brings together the carnival atmosphere of the cabaret with the rebellious spirit of the DIY music scene, weaving in elements from her personal life, her relationships with her bandmates/actors/best friends, and the dangerous world of adolescence into plushdoll-colored musical psychocomedy.
Blong is a powerful on-stage presence. On stage, decked out in one floofy-but-revealing costume after another, she looks somewhere between a little boy and a grown woman, moving like a sexually active android and singing like a child. She also dances, plays keys, reads poetry, and screams (or pretends to scream) at her cast mates. I don’t entirely have the story straight, but it involves real and robot Emily Blongs, plush doll monsters, incursions from the fantasy world into reality and vice versa, and friends manifested into existence by positive thinking. In between there is puppetry, sleight-of-hand magic tricks, and an audience-generated dance party. Underneath the revelry is a dark mythology that springs from fantasy and delirium of a tormented childhood imagination. You get a very strong sense that in her private life she is blessed with the most amazing and inspirational of nightmares.
This July, art lovers have a lot of options for getting their Weird-Americana fix. For example, at a major Los Angeles museum you can view the famous scribbles that launched a thousand Hot Topics. But if you want to see a real mind-roaster of a show that’s truly on the cutting edge of outsider art, just head to Sancho Gallery. Between the toybox set dressing, monster costumes, and bizzaro mythology, It’s a Christmas pageant for the damned.
Broken Velcroe Cabaret will be performed with a rotating guest stars at 8pm on July 8, 9, 15, and 16 at Sancho Gallery in Echo Park.