On November 20, 2014, at 8 pm at the Alberta Rose Theatre, Carla Rossi, Portland’s premier drag clown, hosted, for one night only, “Carla Rossi Sings the End of the World,” which its creator Anthony Hudson calls a “riotous multimedia cabaret show.”
Armed with a songbook of Berlin theatre standards (with pianist Maria Choban) and dance support from cabaret girls The Dolly Pops, Carla makes a (satirical) comparison between 1920s Weimar Berlin and contemporary America – covering everything from immigration policy to drones to racism to DOMA to the Voting Rights Act. Hudson combines humor, theory, drag, dance, politics, song, and critique to make visible what most people want to ignore – and somehow manages to make you have a good time anyway.
I sent Anthony Hudson (a.k.a Carla Rossi) eleven questions about the show – and here is what Hudson had to say.
Q: You’ve said that “Carla Rossi Sings the End of the World” is the story of two star-crossed lovers: Weimar Germany and contemporary America. What parallels do you see between these two time periods?
A: I actually have a game show section in my show where contestants have to guess which culture – Weimar Germany or contemporary America – is described by a basic clue. But there are so many overlaps and parallels that the game show becomes impossible to win. Both cultures are sandwiched by war. The Weimar Republic was established after WWI and gave way to the Third Reich and WWII. I came of age with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and am watching them occur all over again now, only we’re not calling them wars. Throw in economic trouble, xenophobia and racism toward immigrants, and “tolerance” for queer people despite existing legislation against queerness and you’ve got yourself quite the mirror image cocktail.
To read the rest of the interview, please visit Oregon ArtsWatch.