Meow Meow- My mouth is a Wonder, etc . . .Wednesday September 14 2005 9pm
Has this cat had too much cat-nip?
Catie O’Keefe
Having never seen Meow Meow before I wasn’t really sure what to expect. At first she comes out on to stage in her robe, not quite ready to receive her audience. She breaks the fourth wall by acknowledging that she’s doing a show and as part of the act pretends not to be ready. She tells us that she’s going to do a dance, at which point she puts on a pretty little number and dances with the ballet images projected behind her. She charms us a little as she runs around stage trying to match the moves of the dancers on the screen. She’s poised, eloquent, and a bit funny which makes her liked immediately by us all.
Then she makes a huge costume change to a tight gold dress and comes back to sing about love. Her voice is hypnotic and poetic as she sings her song between three mics. Again at this point I’m still not sure what direction the show will go. Is it a variety show? Will we all be part of a comedic dance and sing a-long? But just as I’m thinking this, everything changes; for the show and for her. She receives a phone call, presumable from a lover, and her mood drastically shifts. It’s at this point that I first see the show as becoming a bit confusing.
She expresses her personal disaster by attaching a chain linked to a cart of baggage that she totes around with her on stage. It’s got a little too much double meaning; Funny at first but then annoying. She screams her cat like scream and she sings some more about love lost. As she loses this unseen lover she gains a whole bunch of material items. The entire stage is practically transformed from empty to a cluttered antique store. Many of the items she uses but many she never even goes near. Their purpose?
From then on there are a number of patterns that become evident. The art of sophistication, chaos, anticipation, the cigarette that never burns, the pain of love, and the illusion of normality in a situation that’s anything but that. Because of this, the show is interesting because, well basically I just don’t get it. She’s very entertaining and I laugh at her attempts to literally charm the pants off of three audience members. But there’s also a lot of it that seems pointless. For example, she changes her clothes behind a screen that is never used before and now, all of the sudden, is covered in the photos of naked women with only their eyes and nipples covered by a black bar. We see her silhouette as she changes instructing us not to look. But obviously we all look. As she exits, the screen nor the images are used again.
It almost feels like she has the need to perform, a need for attention and she will do anything to get it. She clutters her stage with objects so we don’t get bored and even resorts to taking off her clothes. Well it worked. I cannot stop staring at the bright shinny red pasties covering her nipples. Ohhhhh sparkly!!!!
In the end I feel a bit cheated. It’s not that I don’t understand what she’s doing or what she’s getting at, but it all seems so overdone. Maybe I’m tired of artists doing strange things just to be strange. There’s a part of everyone that enjoys the chaos but also needs the structure. She’s a very interesting performer but by the end I was hoping it would all just wrap itself up so I could go see Victoria Hanna.