DRUNK @ LABA: Laboratory for Jewish Culture
14th Street Y
Written & Directed by Brandon Woolf
Performed by Richard Toth
Two of the texts we studied for this DRUNK event — Midrash Vayikra Rabbah and Midrash Tanhuma — ironically document the ways a father’s sons subject him to great humiliation as punishment for his excessive substance abuses. These texts poke fun at, or even mock, the “pious” sons as uptight, bourgeois, grudge-holding assholes. In EGG DREAM PROCEDURAL, I tried to re-ironize the humiliation central to both stories and reconsider the kinds of humiliation — psychic, social, spiritual — that Falstaffian fathers also cause their children.
Both tales are orally fixated. The sons in Midrash Vayikra Rabbah discover their father lying on the ground in a cemetery nursing the teat of a wine skin. The children in Midrash Tanhuma pour slime into a drunkard’s mouth. In this short performance, I constructed a spiked egg-cream out of the imagery on hand: White Milk, Brown (Cocoa) Slime, Alcohol, and add Seltzer of course – since these are Jew stories after all. This loaded co2-coction embodied the great tensions within both texts; a drinkable and dangerously-delicious dialectic of misery and enjoyment, humiliation and revelry.