The Velvet Underground’s resident femme fatale, reincarnated onstage!
Many of us have been led to believe that Nico, the dark eyelined, bangs in the face and controversially racist Velvet Underground singer, Warhol superstar and film actress died in 1988, but you’d be mistaken. She’s been reincarnated by Tammy Faye Starlite.
Starlite’s performance is “remarkable and howlingly funny.” New York Times critic Charles Isherwood.
Don’t miss the word’s first and only Sturm und Drang jukebox musical.
Born Christina Paffagen in pre-war Cologne, Nico was a German singer-songwriter, lyricist, composer, musician, fashion model, and actress who became famous as a Warhol superstar in the 1960s and was well known in the art scene of Greenwich Village.
In preparing for her performance, Starlite spent the better part of four years developing the script, drawing from videos, interviews, biographies and rare recordings as well as first-person interviews with those who knew Nico best. Her seriocomic portrayal is a masterful characterization including performances of songs by Lou Reed, Jim Morrison, Jackson Browne, David Bowie, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, Rogers and Hart as well as Nico’s own compositions.
Directed by Michael Schiralli, Starlite is joined onstage by a reporter played by Jeff Ward, asking questions about the German ice queen’s career, lovers, and collaborators. Accompanied by a chamber-size band of guitar, bass, piano, reeds, drums and strings, Starlite pays vocal tribute with earnest and believable poise, revisiting Nico’s three seminal songs on the first Velvets album – “I’ll Be Your Mirror”, “Femme Fatale”, and “All Tomorrow’s Parties” – with both tenderness and cool observation. She also sings Browne’s “These Days,” from Chelsea Girl, with Nico’s original care.Starlite has performed off¬Broadway in New York, and on stages in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, New Orleans and Pittsburgh under the auspices of The Andy Warhol Foundation.
Starlite “packs an accent just the right side of exaggeration” and “punctuates Nico’s fondly blunt and drolly unforgiving characterizations… with regal sweeps of hair and exasperated stares. The show mocks and honors its subject with loving regard; it certainly captures the woman I met, however briefly, in 1978.” Rolling Stone’s David Fricke Tammy Faye Starlite is Nico, icon, Warhol chanteuse and Velvet Underground centerpiece performing songs by many of the greatest artists of the 60s and discussing her life.
Proceeds from the production will benefit Haven, Freedom Cafe and Cocheco Valley Humane Society.