Tuesday, October 21, 2008

bedlam at the Bedlam with Frances Gumm and Monoplex

Last night there was so much going on at the Bedlam Theatre it was like candy for me, a multi-media, sensory freak. In the Fireplace Room was Frances Gumm, Paul D's phenomenal punk rock band since 1983. I and the couple dozen others were lucky to be treated to this rare performance. They'll play again when they release their new album they're working on later this winter.

Next door was an old-time square dance, always a good time. Upstairs on the beautiful deck was David Pitman's Monoplex — the Greek tragedy Medea was last night's featured film preceded by shorts Pitman gathered. Somehow it was quite fitting that Medea was playing upstairs, with Frances Gumm's rebellious punk next to a room where at times murder ballads were being played. Paul D. cut his finger on his guitar strings.

In the big room, were many gigantic fantasy creatures and puppets taking shape of cardboard, shimmery cloth, paper mache and various unusual items which Axman is an invaluable source for, as preparation for the Barebones Halloween production is in full tilt. Puppetmakers/performers had just arrived for the annual production from Vermont, and a bicyclist just wheeled in from St. Cloud. We got caught up, then a couple went off to play old-time fiddle, and a few of us discussed our Art Shanty proposals.

Just another fun-filled, creative night at Bedlam Social. They've increased their large array of entertainment offerings, now featuring a Hot Tony DJ night on Mondays. Some will recognize Hot Tony as literally hot — he's a fire-eating flame-juggling, fire-breathing performer who works with Rah Kojis at Bedlam fire-spinning performances (another spectacular part of Barebones production, and various events). There are cabarets on Fridays, Last weeks' was hosted by Bedlam's creative co-director John Buecke and legendary Michael Sommers of Open Eye Figure Theatre. The next one is rife with Puppets, hosted by excellent puppetmaster Dhann Polnau.