Cocktales with Maria
in Smithers 2014-2015
It all started when...
Joel Klein told Miriam Colvin that he was doing an art project in which he plied his gay friends with drinks and interviewed them about their sex lives. Using the verbatim transcripts of recordings of those conversations, he and Victoria Composer Isaiah Bell worked together to find the pithiest, most telling, most unique and most universally human stories, and have set them to music as a drag opera cabaret theatre piece, called Cocktales with Maria.
Miriam saw the work in progress at FUSE, Vancouver Art Gallery. She was so happy. So very happy.
Joel and Karen Lee-Morlang embodied their explorations into the performance possibilities of drag presentation and characterization, with Joel appearing as the fabulous Maria Toilette, and Karen as the notorious Morekeys de Schade. Add Kristina Lemieux to the mix as Vage. Clearly, this needed to come to Smithers, BC.
Working with BV Community Arts Council and BV Concert Association, we brought the cast up for a research residency and two sold out performances over two years. Local drag performer and fire-eating artist, Belladonna contributed to the final evening in 2015.