Saturday, April 24, 2010

Our new girl silent clown tramp prankster scholar of silent film

I can't forget how Alex Chilton, who had to go and die, sang "I'm in love with a girl". I think about it all the time. It's a feeling I'm always looking for.

I'm in love with a girl. A girl clown. A girl silent clown. A girl silent clown tramp. A girl silent clown tramp prankster. A scholar of silent film. A physical scholar, and with the mind.

Her name is Kyla Webb. She came to town, or has stayed here, thanks to Lola van Ella. Lola of course is our preeminent burlesque entrepreneur (not to diminish Lola's gifts by way of choreography or performance, but it's business acumen in an artist that most amazes me).

Kyla and Lola are running pretty tight together, and that's very good for us. St. Louis is helping Lola to flourish, thanks to our almost overly abundant local resources in the forms of talented, generous artists and an adoring audience of smart, hard partyers.

What keeps Lola here may keep Kyla here - she comes to us from Chicago, and the road. Lola will help keep her here. Now add me to a good seat up front in the welcome wagon, because if there was one solitary arrival I would have prayed for this town and its artist community, it would have been for a girl silent clown tramp prankster (and gender bender, no less) to make silent movies with me. With us. With Poetry Scores.

Kyla comes to us from Oona Tramps. For the love of God, she is keepling alive the art form of Charles Chaplin. For the love of Chaplin, she turns up in St. Louis, so modest and honest you could weep. That is the kind of artist I fall in love with and try to frame projects around and attempt to fit into crannies of existing and evolving thingamajigs.

Kyla turns up with Lola in a St. Louis burlesque scene that travels far and has a far wider vision than those of us who are seeing only a part of them and their work can imagine. But I will take as much as I can get of their talent and creative energy.

This is the best of times to be working creatively in this fertile old river city. I simply can't wait to start making stage shows and - especially! as soon as possible! - silent Poetry Scores movies with Kyla and Lola.

Kyla Webb and Lola van Ella will debut a new fairy tale stage show Saturday, May 15 at Off-Broadway as part of the Show-Me Burlesque festival (that also intersects with Midwest Mayhem, the KDHX fundraising bash).


Photographs lifted from Kyla's Facebook page. Sorry that I'm not crediting the photographers. Look for Kyla Webb on Facebook for better credits.

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