Mme du Châtelet Productions debuted Saturday, January 31st, with its first edition of the Salon, held in my candlelit home with some thirty people in attendance. The evening included writers Christina Mirjol, Shannon Cain, and myself as well as the visual artist Sarita Beraha who turned our white tiled bathroom into a red velvet grotto, an oeuvre that took two days, four trips to the Marché St. Pierre and 75 meters of fabric to complete! The end result was a sumptuous setting for Shannon Cain’s reading in the baignoire.
Christina Mirjol read from her book “Les Cris,” punctuating the evening with voices of varying timbres – satirical, emotional, playful, haunting – while Shannon, dressed in bubbles, read passages of her racy novel-in-progress. I read/performed a piece I wrote especially for this edition of the salon entitled “Bake a Cake”; Shannon Cain joined me, playing the role of June Carter Cash and together we actually did make a cake, a Betty Crocker Chocolate Deluxe, to the strains of Lil Debbie.
The evening started off with one of Christina’s “cris,” then a Mata Hari number to a Natasha Atlas hit performed by yours truly, in full Egyptian regalia. I was fortunate to have had the expert guidance of Christina, a theatre director and actress. But above and beyond the performing I gauge the evening’s success by the degree to which it expressed the flavours of the feminine – seductive, surprising, sexy, funny, wicked, liquid, mysterious… I felt the room go rosy and warm, and as the guests sipped champagne and nibbled canapés, I could sense a lightening of the air and spirits.
A gentleman who attended wrote me the kindest note the following day:
“Je te remercie encore de cette soirée, à proprement parlé, poétique en ce sens qu’elle produisait de l’imprévisible. Soirée féminine au bon sens du terme. Quel bonheur de parler à tant de femmes… Merci encore ! Un peu d’air frais ! Calme, luxe et volupté , comme dirait Baudelaire !” (Thank you for this poetic evening, poetic in the sense that it produced the unexpected. A feminine evening in the best of ways. What a pleasure to speak to so many women… thank you again. Some fresh air! ‘Calme, luxe et volupté” as Baudelaire would say.’”
I’ll let the pictures tell the rest. A special thanks to Joanna Walsh for designing the flyer (see below) and to Anne Mariétan for the photos.