Sex with Mutant Farm Animals (and other tales of the Two-Headed Calf) by Ivan Bellman

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” –Winston Churchill

I am writing a book. It is a chronicle of my artistic suicide, which coincides with my post-vagina dentate addiction to Jack Daniels™. Having just finished a chapter on Mrs. Brendan Bellman, composer extraordinaire of Two-Headed Calf fame, I could finally commence the documentation of my own death. There is really nothing better than watching me die. Just ask any of the partygoers from 520 W. 27th who witnessed me skewer myself on a Noguchi lamp while trying to dismount from the second floor rope swing.

So I began to write the beginning of my end . . . Oh, boy! My very first BLOG entry where I’m jacked on too much Concerta® thus pulling a 720° causing Betty to collide into a snow bank where I see my career as Theater Fag flash before my eyes. Knee-deep in narcissism, I get the call (email) from Mr. Roboto himself. This is where I put my electronic foot in my literary mouth . . .

Why did I have to mention MAJOR BARBARA? I guess I had Brendalina on the brain. Of course culturebot doesn’t want a “review” because David Cote and Jesse McKinley have already exploited that scene the way Michael Counts does meat-puppets . . . or “actors” if you want to be all PC about it. Sheesh.

I can’t spill the beans on how I cockblocked Brendan from some chunky Spot Coffee girl because the alcohol ate his sound design homework. Nor could I pen the saga of ex-Mrs. Bellman posing as a Drag King at Meow Mix in the hopes of getting some pity play. I’ve been gay by default myself, at Don Hill’s back in the dizay. Lemme tell ya . . . it ain’t pretty.

So here I am . . . trapped in a snow bank with no way to write my way out.

Then my mind wanders to thoughts of Brooke O’Harra, the other head of the Calf. And my ink well runneth over as there are so few theater directors who don’t suck . . . even fewer who aren’t using recycled avant-trash and dressing it up as new. No, Brooke is the real deal. The last bastion of the experimental . . . like a troglodyte carrying a burning ember across a frozen lake in QUEST FOR FIRE . . . or Rae Dawn Chong discovering missionary style with any of the remaining males from Radio Hole.

Brooke’s reputation preceded our first meeting. I was doing a wild card slot at the Hangar, in Ithaca while Brooke had just finished her tenure up in there as a Drama League Director. Apparently, she picked some out Japanese Fairytale as her Kids Stuff’s play (which is part of the gig by the way if you are considering applying.) Then she took Lisa Bushlow to task in the vomitorium right before the show . . . oh wait, that was Michael Barakiva.

There is also the tidbit of Hangar lore where she convinced a carpet store in town to loan her a five thousand dollar rug for her Lab play. She told the carpet mongers that it was a surprise purchase for her husband and she wanted to see how it would go with the furniture before paying for it. Let me break it down for you . . . She don’t got no husband! Those silly Near-Easterners have no Gaydar, lemme tell ya. They couldn’t tell a Naked Boy Singing from an NYU LUG.

Speaking of NYU, this brings us to the first time I offended Mz. O’Harra . . . I told her, most thickly, that I liked her messy workshops more than the cleaned-up productions. TOM THUMB, for which the company composed their own language, was completely unintelligible at ETW. (“Deh Cwoon is in a swoon”) It made no sense and I was loving it. But at LaMama, Brooke had to go and put in all this logic and sense and, dare I say it, English . . . Yuk.

Or that whacked out Franklin’s Furnace workshop of TUMOR BRAINAWICZ with the Molly. I still have nightmares of being attacked by those giant paper mache heads while Mz. Ward dissembled stuff animals with that creepy laugh of hers. Brooke always gets the bona fied crazies . . . Bend ‘em like Bickerstaff, Tina “THE MOTHER” Sheperd and Holtor the Barbarian have all chewed scenery for the Theatre of the Milk-fed Mutants.

Brooke O’Harra is also a NEA/TCG CDP alumnus. Woo-hoo! The story there goes that she managed to convince the Program to send her to Japan. The only other director I know to do this is Kate Whorisky who went to the Tanztheater Wuppertal to watch Pina do her thing. (What I wouldn’t give to see a downtown Celebrity Death Match between those two Ladies of Letters. It would be like Career vs. Art.)

All this trash talk aside, I cannot recommend MAJOR BARABARA highly enough. It’s like sometimes you go see weird stuff and you feel like it’s just a bunch of in-jokes about people you don’t know, y’know? Kinda like this article . . . but this time the joke is on me . . . . Tell them Ivan sent you . . . and you will have to pay extra. And tell Brendan to call me! Daddy needs some sugar.



Rock n’ Roll

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