In Company XIV’s newest show – based on the Judgement of Paris myth – Paris might be the title character, but the goddesses are the real stars of the show. These three talented performers tower above us mere mortals, their audience, in lavish gowns and high heels, and each of them gets multiple solos to show off their stunning voices.
Just before the final weekend of Paris, Venus (Storm Marrero), Athena (Marcy Richardson), and Juno (Randall Scotting) took the time to answer a few questions about playing divine beings on-stage and what they admire most about their fellow goddesses.
What is your favorite moment in the show for your character?
There are so many great moments, it’s hard to pick just one!
Juno offers opulence; she is otherworldly. As her scene unfolds the audience gets to see a couple of very different (and unexpected) aspects of this character, which I love. The scene also plays with gender in exciting and entertaining ways, but I guess I would have to say her entrance is unlike anything else in the show, and so that’s probably my favorite moment. I sing the aria “Lascia ch’io pianga” by Handel, which is a sumptuous tune that we’ve used to introduce the world of tempting luxury Juno offers to Paris. Time seems to stand still.
I think the audience is surprised to hear such a lavish baroque operatic aria in the midst of the show’s burlesque-French-dance-hall vibe. And the elegance of this operatic music in contrast to the hard-edge leather costumes also helps to transport the scene to some sort of alternate, almost cinematic reality. It’s the perfect way to introduce Juno.
All the goddesses are, well, goddesses, but pick a moment in the show featuring one of the other goddesses that takes your breath away.
I am nearly in tears every show during one of the final numbers when Storm (who plays Venus) sings, with pained truth and beauty, lyrics about how we all torture ourselves in love. How we “set fire to our insides for fun,” and we close ourselves off to our feeling and become calloused when relationships end. Storm sings it with such a visceral emotional quality, such truth, heartache, and vocal strength. It’s poignant and honest, and I melt when I hear it.
If you had to sum up your goddess in a song, what song would it be?
“I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan
What is the most challenging aspect of a Company XIV production?
For me, what is most challenging is also what’s most rewarding. This show asks for a real vulnerability from the performers, which is simultaneously refreshing and a little frightening. And beyond this, the show is newly devised, so while we are creating the piece, we hope it will connect with our audience. When it does, that’s incredibly rewarding.
Ultimately, we are working with universal themes. There’s a can-can or two and laughs along the way but this is really a show about the allure of love. It’s challenging and invigorating to go to that place every night. The audience feels it as well. They are a part of that, and it’s what is special about these productions. Something that sets Company XIV apart, I think.
If you had the golden apple to give, which goddess would you give it to and why?
As much as I want to say it should go to Juno, the apple does end up in the correct hands of Venus. Love wins. That’s timeless.
You can find more about Randall Scotting and his upcoming projects at RandallScotting.com. Paris is running through Saturday, November 12 at the Irondale Center in Brooklyn. Balcony tickets starting at only $25. For tickets, click here or call 866-811-4111, and check out the full Paris photo gallery here and a rundown of the 5 times Paris made my jaw hit the ground.