Collaborative madness and apple pie: DeLouRue’s Freedom Fantasia.
On the eve of Freedom Fantasia‘s three night run at the Triple Door (the show kicks off Tuesday, July 3 and repeats twice nightly July 6-7) Kitten LaRue took a few moments to dish about the value of collaborative madness, metaphorical apple pie, love, and rule-breaking.
BSP: Hi Kitten! So this is the second year for Freedom Fantasia, correct?
Kitten: Correct! Last year we debuted at West Hall (which is a venue that we love), and were so thrilled when the Triple Door called to invite us to bring the show there the next year.
BSP: You and Ben DeLaCreme- and now Lou Henry Hoover, who joined DeLouRue presents this year- definitely bring out some heightened creative madness in each other. Why do you think that is- what’s the nature of this bizarre three-headed friendship & creative partnership?
Kitten: It’s an incredibly intense, manic, and thrilling collaboration….the three of us obviously have very close personal relationships with each other, which can alternately be helpful and exhilarating for the creative process, and also make you want to scratch each others eyeballs out when things get stressful (with LOVE of course!) It’s really been exciting to see how the three of us bring our individual influences and backgrounds to the table: Lou comes from the “serious” art world of modern dance, I dream of vintage MGM musicals, and Ben basically visualizes everything in the context of classic Looney Tunes. Somehow it comes together and makes sense! (To us at least.) And at the end of the day, what could be better than making fabulous art with my best friend and my girlfriend? Fun times.
BSP: How did you come up with the idea for this show, and how would you describe that overall idea?
Kitten: We wanted to make a “pageant” of sorts…a hilarious and smart patriotic school play for grown ups who are interested in celebrating the joyous highs and questionable lows of America and Americana. We were also interested in exploring the idea of what patriotism means for people who don’t always feel included in the “American dream”…queer people, broke people, minorities, marginalized rebels in general.
BSP: Are you optimistic about the future of equality in marriage? (By the way, I hear wedding bells are in the air…)
Kitten: Yes, it’s true! Lou got down on one knee and popped that magical question when we were in New Orleans last month, all romantical style. I do feel optimistic about marriage equality, it truly feels like an inevitable thing, minds are changing…I mean even OREOS are gay now, hooray!
BSP: How does acceptance seem to be coming along in your home state of Louisiana?
Kitten: I think my home state of Louisiana and the South in general may take a bit longer to catch up, sadly…organized religion unfortunately slows progress for many, and it is the Bible belt. (Although New Orleans is an oasis of liberal misfits with a rich cultural history of rule breaking, and has been for 200 years.)
BSP: Back to Freedom Fantasia– did you come up with the acts and cast around the concept, or did the performers bring ideas that magically fit?
Kitten: The three of us assembled our dream cast of all-stars from the burlesque, drag, and dance/theater worlds , and then we created the show and the acts around our casts’ unique talents and personas.
BSP: One of my favorite acts last year- without giving away too much- involved covered wagons and I believe, the song “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”(?) In all of your work with the Atomic Bombshells and also, in L’Edition Francaise with Lily Verlaine- you have a way of picking out the perfect music for your shows. How do you find and choose it?
Kitten: Thanks for that! Ahhh yes, our “dream ballet”. That track is Marty Robbins’ “Cool Water”. Music has always been my biggest inspiration and starting point. I grew up with musicians and music lovers (and play music myself) so I”m always pulling stuff from my childhood, mix tapes my Nana made me when I was young….my father (Papa Mali) is a musician and has a massive vinyl collection, so he’s always introducing me to amazing obscure stuff…
BSP: There’s also some singing by Ben and Jinx Monsoon in Freedom Fantasia…are they original songs?
Kitten: The big finale is actually a hilarious pop parody of Katy Perry, but with all original lyrics written by Ben DeLaCreme. Just wait and see…
Freedom Fantasia @ The Triple Door
July 3, 6, and 7 (shows at 7:30 and 10:30)
Get tickets HERE.