by designer: Sign of the Beast Burlesque
Krista Soto, Darcy Sharpe, and Kate Ledeboer of Sign of the Beast Burlesque
The Q Center and AARP
We rescue pianos and put them on the street for everybody to enjoy. We want to give pianists more opportunities to play for the public.
Being involved in this project from Piano. Push. Play. was such a gift. We've long been fans of Darcelle XV. Darcelle is truly such an inspiration- an incredible, creative force and fierce advocate for the LGBTQ community. Thank you PPP for giving us the opportunity to pay our respects to the hardest (and longest) working drag queen in showbiz!
In thinking about the design, we knew one thing was for sure- it needed to have big blonde hair and a boatload of rhinestones. This thing was gonna be fabulous. But while we wanted it to exude a sense of larger than life glory that is Darcelle, we also wanted it to share some of the history and evolution of Darcelle XV. We did this by including some of our favorite photos of Darcelle over the years in the jewels of the necklace and the earrings that cover the piano's facade. We also wanted to pay tribute to and acknowledge the incredible love story of Darcelle and longtime partner (since 1967!) Roxy LeRoy. The back of the piano then became a mural immortalizing our favorite glittery PDX power couple.
Working with the piano itself was an adventure. Just knowing that it belonged to Darcelle added some extra weight when we had to get out the drill and start attaching things to it- we really didn't want Darcelle to look at the final product and say, "What did you do to my beautiful piano?!!!" But it was fun to explore the scratches, nicks and ring stains on the top and to really feel the piano's history. Finding Darcelle's sheet music stashed in the bench (!!!) was a surprise of epic proportions. Sitting inside the bench was a treasure trove of great 90's hits and classics and a folder with a hand drawn image of a Broadway stage and chorus line. I know these treasures will not be overlooked by it's new forever home, Q Center.
Sign of the Beast Burlesque is a heavy metal burlesque troupe, and the producers of the one and only Metalesque Fest- a three day event that combines live metal bands and performers from around the country. Based in Portland, Oregon since 2010.
Krista Soto has had a lifelong affliction of finding herself on stage. She's been a burlesque performer and event producer in the Pacific Northwest since 2010, producing a variety of shows including Sign of The Beast Burlesque and Black Lodge Burlesque, the longest running David Lynch themed burlesque show in the US. Krista also fronted the ten piece dance band, Ancient Heat for six years. A self identified craftaholic, she relishes in creating something from seemingly nothing and is a master with a glue gun.
Darcy Sharpe is a Costumer and Production Designer for Film & Theater, as well as a burlesque performer. She has built costumes and fabulous headdresses for productions and performers in Portland and beyond. A life-long artist, working in a variety of mediums, she is captivated by characters, real and imagined, and was supremely honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute to one of Portland's most influential characters; Darcelle XV.
Kate Ledeboer (aka Rocket) has been a fixture in the Portland performing arts scene for over a decade. She's been a burlesque performer and event producer in the Pacific Northwest since 2010, producing a variety of shows including Sign of The Beast Burlesque and Black Lodge Burlesque, the longest running David Lynch themed burlesque show in the US. Kate is also a writer and costumer, having published several zines about the entertainment industry in the Rose City, and has custom created many sparkling headdresses for local performers. She loves all things sparkly and is addicted to rhinestoning.
Namesake Musician: Darcelle
"An absolute legend of Portland’s entertainment landscape, Darcelle XV is owner and headliner of the Darcelle XV Showplace, recognized as the oldest continuously running cabaret in the United States. For more than 49 years, Darcelle has performed six shows a week, hosted countless fundraisers, performed dozens of wedding ceremonies, fed the homeless and mingled with the rich and famous." -- http://www.darcellexv.com/cast.html
Coming soon! Watch this space.
ABOUT PIANO! PUSH PLAY!
We rescue pianos, put them on the street for everyone to enjoy, and then give them to schools, community centers, artists, and others who will love them as much as we do.
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