When the French Institute Alliance Française commissioned a performance by husband and wife partners Paul Lazar and Annie-B Parson, the two incorrectly assumed that their work needed to have a French subject. That’s how “Comme Toujours Here I Stand” came to be– inspired by the screenplay for the seminal Agnes Varda film from 1962, Cleo from 5 to 7, wherein a singer goes about her life as she awaits the results from a cancer test. The couple chose not to watch the film until late in the process. The resultant performance is a satirical take on the story, with lively costumes, sets, music, and dance numbers. The highly ambitious avant-garde piece uses audio and video to capture the film experience. Knowledge of the film is unnecessary to enjoy this exciting staged work.
“Comme Toujours Here I Stand” is currently at The Kitchen in Chelsea.