String Theory

Paul Festa takes a palpably hands-on approach to art — a response, perhaps, to the hand injury that derailed his career as a concert violinist. For his epic new short film, The Glitter Emergency, in which the San Francisco multihyphenate plays a devilish violinist who helps Peggy the Peg-Leg Ballerina (played by Matthew Simmons, aka Peggy L’Eggs) become a dancing queen, Festa painted his instrument a glowing silver, then enhanced the effect with glitter and rhinestones. The 20-minute piece, the first film commissioned by ODC Theater, combines elements of silent film, screwball comedy, drag, and old-school ballet. This world premiere, featuring Festa’s live accompaniment of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, is both a benefit for the film and an appetite-whetter: The Glitter Emergency is an overture to ODC’s production of Festa’s full-length theater piece, The Violin Show, in fall 2011. Tonight’s curtain-raiser is Apparition of the Eternal Church, Festa’s 2006 tour de force featuring Justin Bond, John Cameron Mitchell, and 29 other personalities reacting to Olivier Messiaen’s titular piece of organ music pumping through their headphones.
Thu., May 27, 8 p.m., 2010

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