Wednesday October 31, 2001
Why worry about the netherworld when Hotel Congress has more than enough freaks and oddities to satisfy your needs?
This year's show features music, art, dance and street theater and was organized by Solar Culture's Steven Eye. Scheduled performers are W.O.M.B. (Warriors of Make Believe) from Phoenix, Pork Torta from Tucson, dance performers Soul Retrieval and street performance groups Tucson PuppetWorks and Flam Chen.
"It's a multimedia experience," Eye said. "It's really designed to help people transform into all different realities."
Tucson PuppetWorks begins the show at 8:30 p.m. with their pirate-themed puppet show.
"We're doing pull puppets and a giant puppet show. It's a show depicting pirates and sailors," puppeteer Charles Swanson said, adding that the puppets look like "pirate skeleton monsters."
He troupe will perform its giant puppet show, which uses 10-foot puppets worn by the puppeteers, in Club Congress's back parking lot.
Also performing outside is longtime Tucson PuppetWorks collaborator Flam Chen.
"I love those guys. We all kind of started off doing our thing about five years ago doing street performance," said Swanson. "Certain members (of Tucson PuppetWorks) went off to Flam Chen; some of their members joined us. We collaborate a lot."
For those who have never seen them perform, Flam Chen combines pyrotechnics, modern dance and martial arts with a circus performance sensibility. This group, which began in Tucson, now travels nationwide, touting itself as one of the few performances groups that adheres to fire safety guidelines.
Another visual element comes to the show via artist Mark Murray, who has his studio at Solar Culture. Murray has worked with Eye to hang his pieces around the club and hotel to further the atmosphere.
"He's been putting it up for two weeks," Eye said. "He's got so many pieces. That's another really good part of the whole thing."
Hotel Congress desk manager Dave Schaesser said preparations at Congress have been going well.
"There's a bunch of stuff up. We've been decorating the hotel. And the installations are all for sale after the show."
W.O.M.B., an all-female band originally from Tucson, finishes off the night.
"What's so interesting is that all these different groups from the art scene are coming together to create this multimedia experience," Eye said. "It's really a staging ground for people to go off in their own directions. Imagination is going to run wild."
Admission to the bash is $10 at the door. Costumes are highly encouraged. Those under 21 can watch all performances not in the bar. The club is located at 311 E. Congress St.