Sunday, February 7, 2010

FRESH - The Coffee Mound

In the final hours before the opening night performance, Jessica Mariko had the dancers do a full run-through of the whole show. I had spent most of the day setting up my art installation of the 2009 Sketchbooks in the entry room. I had fun using a whole lot of junk found in my garage to create my odd, somewhat alienish installation. In the main room I leaned up against a wall and started to sketch. Everyone was rushing around to clean up before the first audience arrived. Bob Kodzis asked Christie Miga where a garbage can was. She pointed towards me and said "Over there next to the artist sketching." It is humbling being a landmark for garbage. When Ashley Kroft and Tin Tin started to explore the coffee mound which is the stage for one of the dance routines, they discovered rocks and glass in the dirt. Ashley, and several other volunteers, had to sift through and remove as much glass and rock as possible. They can never be sure they sifted every inch. Lighting was being installed and aimed right up until the last second. There are no dressing rooms in the Cameo theater so for the rehearsals the dancers changed in the man's room and the women's room became the bathroom. I only discovered this when I had to actually use the bathroom and I almost walked in on a costume change. Right before the performance Jessica poored a whole bag of raw coffee grounds on the mound which filled the room with the distinctive pleasing aroma of coffee.
There was a rumor that someone was going to propose marriage to his girlfriend this night so I had my eyes on the lookout for who that couple might be. For an additional fee some couples were allowed to wander through the Willy Wonka like edible environment on their own before the main crowd arrived. The more daring also had their bodies painted and got Henna Tattoos. This was a small group of couples and I figured the marriage proposal would be among them. Tisse and I debated on which couple it might be and we agreed on a slender young woman who was getting a Henna Tattoo. Her boyfriend however was in his iPhone not really paying attention to her. I wrote this behavior down to nerves and figured he was texting a friend to try and decide when he should pop the question. I kept my eyes on this couple for some time but then out of the corner of my eyes I saw a glint of gold and a woman hugged her fiance and kissed him. I had missed the main event! Bob, who was acting as the MC, announced the proposal and acceptance, and everyone in the room applauded.
If you want a unique sensual and pleasurable evening with your true love, then FRESH is without a doubt the hottest ticket in town!

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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