THE MUSICAL THEATRE OF LOVE
WILD GIFT/LONDON 2006
Kathe Izzo w/ musical accompaniment by Slink Moss
It took me forever to find the Great Eastern Hotel on Liverpool Street on Friday May 25th. I wound through the streets that looped and crisscrossed. I passed Old Street where I had partied with Kathe Izzo and Steve and my hosts the night before. Nothing made sense in terms of direction. I finally walk into the lobby of the Great Eastern and Steve smiles at me. "Right on time," he laughs. He must mean rock n roll time. It's 12:50 and I'm fifty minutes late. Our first Musical Theatre of Love appointment is in 10 minutes and we haven't had time to rehearse. Kathe Izzo is not happy but she's looking great in her black "goth Lolita" outfit. She asks why I'm late and I don't have an answer. We start setting up quickly. I tune my acoustic guitar and we draw the curtains and turn down the lights. The room becomes transformed into a theater set. The darkness has emphasized the pink tones in the room. It's now a romantic space. The lack of light has focused the energy. The outside world is blocked out. We are so happy about this atmosphere. Everything seems set except I have to take my place. Earlier Steve had suggested that I be on the bed. I'm not sure how this will work out. But I take off my shoes and get comfortable with my guitar.
The phone rings. It's Steve calling from the lobby. The first appointment is here. Soon there's a knock at the door. "Come in." Steve has ushered The Love Patron from the lobby. Steve's like both our manager and collaborator. Kind of a love art pimp, middle man. The Love Patron walks into the darkened room and sees me laying on the bed with black guitar and black hat. I smile trying to ease her in as she doesn't seem sure what to expect. I'm not sure what will happen either. Most of Kathe Izzo's live appointments have been one on one. By adding a third element (Steve) and a fourth (me) and subsequently a fifth element (our music), Kathe Izzo has made the dynamics more complicated. When the Musical Theater of Love was first envisioned, I was to be be very much in the background. My Lady Vilma joked that I'd be a musical eunuch, not a part of the love, just the background, the music. But immediately I see that's not going to be the case.
The Love Patron lays down in the bed next to me and she and Kathe Izzo begin to chat. Everything is quiet and unhurried. After a few minutes, chocolate & champagne are offered. Kathe Izzo says she excited to sing some songs. She hands the appointee a menu of songs that we have rehearsed and a few others Kathe Izzo plans to sing a capella. The appointee picks a song like "The Look of Love" or "You Are my Sunshine" and we play in a folky, campfire way. We are "better than pro" I would later say because we are charming and personal. We're are human and real and present and the love songs seem to have real meaning. Kathe Izzo wants to sing a special song for the Love Patron -- "Close To You" without guitar. It's very emotional to hear a single human voice in this hotel room like an island of isolated love.
Kathe cries as she sings. She's really feeling the words. I enjoy the moments of raw emotion. I don't need to play guitar. I don't need anything. I'm in the Musical Theater of Love. It's a kind of a dream job. I realize that I love The Love Patron, I love Kathe Izzo, I love London, I love everything. And nothing can go wrong. I'm in the flow. I'm a love artist too. I lose track of time. The forty five minute appointment goes byquickly. We end with a ritual. We imprint our thumbprints with rose lipstick into a tiny sketch book while looking into each others eyes. The three of us, our eyes darting between each other. I put the residual lipstick from my thumb on my lips. This little lipstick is a theatrical, sexy, rock n roll touch. The Musical Theater of Love is about all these things. Then Kathe Izzo and I autograph the song menu like rock stars and say goodbye.
We have honestly loved this person for forty five minutes. We hug and after they walk out, Kathe Izzo and I talk about appointment. We say things like "Wasn't she wonderful?" or "The room looks great," or "We sounded great", "Do you remember when he said that?" "Do you remember when she did this?" We are energized. To love someone is exciting. Then the phone rings. It's Steve. The next appointment is in the lobby already. We freshen up the pillows and got ready for another act in The Musical Theater of Love.