Following another long day of shows and after parties, a handful of weary “Spoleto Gliterrati” and myself trekked over to La Fourchette for a new, tres Parisian, after, after party. Pazzo Tomato is really more the emergence of an underground festival, a spin-off set late in the night for performers who are in need of some entertainment before they call it a day.
The doors opened après minuit. Three women stood in the narrow sidewalk ushering guests in out of the throngs of college students wandering King Street. Dressed in black and white stripped stockings, metallic cocktail dresses, and piles of long pearls, the members of the Marvelosa troupe enchanted and baffled the bar hoppers who paraded outside. Inside, beaucoup du vin flowed, and although served in red solo cups, it was still the best wine served at any other after party I can recall.
The show began around 12:30 a.m. with the emergence of Nicole Renaud. The classically trained soprano — although some have dubbed her neo soprano for her high and light, ethereal voice — floated out from behind the bar accompanied by her trademark licordian. The instrument is a clear plastic encased accordion that is illuminated from the inside, and was constructed by British artist/engineer Paul Etienne Lincoln. Renaud’s dress was also glowing, quite literally. A stark white, layered hoop skirt emitted a neon lavender light, causing her to appear oddly angelic — if angels exist in a neo-modern type sci-fi world. Renaud sang a few poems put to music, and then followed with a few tracks off her new album, Coleurs.
Following an intermission for more wine, Theatre Marvelosa began, and continued with their act, Zee Hat. Whether it was sheer exhaustion, or the several glasses of wine, the experience seemed entirely otherworldly. The performances without a doubt had the most European, particularly French sensibility.
Three more are set for the remainder of the festival — June 3-5. The general public is welcomed, and Spoleto artists are encouraged (although we didn’t spot any Saturday night). The first 10 Spoleto artists gain free admission. Tickets are $25 at the door and $20 in advance.