Unique well describes Long Neck, Big Heart, called a comic-book cabaret by its creator, Boulder performance artist/cartoonist/musician Timothy Foss. Starring Santa Claus, a four-year-old boy, a giraffe and Foss himself, the, um, performance (multimedia show? monologue? concert? film screening?) sounds like something weve never exactly seen before. But well get our chance today, when Long Neck, Big Heart opens at the Boulder International Fringe Festival.
Im projecting comic drawings in a sequential animatic behind me; I wrote songs that accompany them, and I tell a story, Foss explains. The storyline is a blend of my real-life experience: Its autobiographical, but only about an aspect of myself. Im using my own comics projected on the wall behind me. Its something I saw back in Seattle, but I think Ive taken it to a new level. I recorded voices and sound effects and ambient sounds that make the animatics feel real and present, and then I added songs.
Though Foss first performed the piece in an early form to good response for his masters thesis at the University of Colorado, he rightfully calls his Fringe debut a world premiere. Its been tightened up, he says. What I like about bringing things together this way is that it kind of creates its own genre, and audiences are not yet looking to me to have mastered it. I dont want to be compared just to the best illustrators or the best songwriters or the best actors. I just try to bring all of what I am to the audience.
See Long Neck at 9 p.m. at Topo Ranch, 1505 Pearl Street in Boulder, or at one of five additional performances taking place through August 28; get tickets, $10 to $12 (two-for-one tonight only, or $2 off with a comic book donation at the door) and more information at www.boulderfringe.com.
Thu., Aug. 19, 9 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m.; Tue., Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 26, 9 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 27, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 28, 9 p.m., 2010