Tammy Faye Starlite As Nico In: "Chelsea Mädchen"

Performing Artists (Click on Artist for Reviews and Previews)
  • Ticket Price: $25.00
  • Show Type:
  • Door Time: 09:00 PM

Description: Following her much lauded string of New York performances of Chelsea Mädchen at Joe's Pub, The HOWL! Festival and The Duplex, Tammy Faye Starlite brings her bravura theater piece, focused on the music and commentary of Nico, the glamorously decadent Velvet Underground chanteuse, née Christa Paffgen, to Largo. She will be accompanied by an All Star Band.[Photo courtesy of Bob Gruen]

Seats will be assigned beginning at 7pm, Doors open for drinks at 8pm, Showtime 9pm.

Inspired by current economic catastrophes of the same sort that provoked the climate of fear that begat the Third Reich, Tammy Faye Starlite forswears her country persona for an evening of song performances -- und gespräch -- in a dark, Weimar-cum Warhol Kabaret Konzert directed by Michael Schiralli. Chelsea Mädchen includes the brilliant repertoire of songs associated with Nico’s brief, yet legendary, tenure with the Velvet Underground including “I’ll Be Your Mirror,” Femme Fatale” and “All Tomorrow’s Parties.”  Starlite will also perform classic Nico covers of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” Rodgers and Hart's "My Funny Valentine," Bob Dylan's "I'll Keep It With Mine" and The Doors' "The End." The show will culminate with a rousing finale of "Deutschland Über Alles."  She recently guest hosted in her Nico persona on US Magazine's "Hot Stuff" video feature.

Starlite, backed by an all-star band, recreates actual encounters Nico had with journalists based on the text by T.D. Lang with Jeff Ward on stage as The Interviewer. The piece includes dreamlike reminiscences about Lou Reed (and Jews in general), Andy Warhol, John Cale, Jackson Browne, David Bowie, Alain Delon and others. Starlite noted, “Nico was, and remains, a heroin(e) and emblem for these dark days of civil unrest and our unceasing fascination with sybaritic self-destruction and the willful deconstruction and annihilation of beauty.”  She continued, “I’ve got the songs, the accent and the hair down and am working tirelessly on the cheekbones.  Moving the show from New York to Los Angeles reflects the tectonic cultural shift that Nico helped catalyzed during her brief time on the planet."
Rolling Stone's David Fricke reviewed a recent Duplex Chelsea Mädchen performance and noted that he had actually met the real Nico 33 years ago.  He wrote, "All of those Nicos – the lethal venus of 1966-67; the stoic sorceress of The Marble Index and 1970's Desertshore; the commanding matron I saw that night in New York – are present, with affectionate and gently comic detail, in Chelsea Mädchen, a portrait in performance by the colorful New York alternative-country-and-cabaret singer Tammy Faye Starlite,  Starlite has the proper blonde hair and packs an accent just the right side of exaggeration. She punctuates Nico's fondly blunt and drolly unforgiving characterizations of Bob Dylan (who gave her the immortal 'I'll Keep It With Mine') the Velvets' Lou Reed ('a usurper of souls') and the teenage Jackson Browne (her accompanist for a spell after the Velvets) with regal sweeps of hair and exasperated stares, her eyes as wide as headlights. The show mocks and honors its subject with loving regard; it certainly captures the woman I met, however briefly, in 1978."
Danny Fields, the legendary Warhol-era underground scenester and record business executive who signed Nico to Elektra Records said of Starlite's performance, 'It's not an imitation, it's a rediscovery of Nico." He added, "I love what she does. She's wonderful."

Frank DiGiacomo, writing in his New York Daily News Gatecrasher column called the Chelsea Mädchen "a  wonderfully wry one-woman homage" and went on to guest star as the inquisitive on stage journalist at last week's HOWL! Festival performance of Chelsea Mädchen.
Veteran MTV News anchor Kurt Loder who performed the same role at an earlier performance commented, "The show’s extraordinary: a Nico tribute--so unexpected! But Tammy Faye’s a fine singer, and she really nails Nico’s deadpan/narcotized delivery, and the dialogue, lifted straight from old Nico interviews, is very funny." 
Robert Christgau, "the dean of American rock critics," writing for MSN Music in a piece under the headline "The Velvet Underground's resident femme fatale, reincarnated onstage" urged that "Anyone who knows [the album] 'The Velvet Underground and Nico' knows enough about Nico to drop in..  and learn some more." He went on to cite Starlite as "a performance artist [with the ability to] slip into someone else's skin." 
Larry Jaffe, like Fricke and Loder, had actually seen Nico in performance. In Rock's Back Pages, he wrote, "Tammy Faye unleashes physical comedy worthy of Lucille Ball-meets Tonya Harding. At the gig I witnessed, she sat like Rasputin behind her harmonium. I remember the band cooking on “I’m Waiting For My Man,”  thinking to myself that was the closest I’d get to a live experience of Velvet Underground & Nico. Nico live was bewitching, and I’ll never forget it – much like Chelsea Mädchen.   
HITS Magazine's "Beats Me" columnist Roy Trakin wrote, "Starlite is like Lady Gaga, if Stephanie was raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan by liberal Jewish parents and studied at yeshiva. Starlite is Nico in perfectly coiffed frosted blonde-hair, blackened eyeliner and gravelly Germanic drawl, launching an eerily note-perfect rendition of “Femme Fatale.” 
For her role as Nico in Chelsea Mädchen singer/performance artist/bandleader Starlite abandoned her preternaturally godly country star character whose set list has included “Misguided Magdalene,” “God Has Lodged a Tenant in My Uterus,” "Ride The Cotton Pony" and the classic “Did I Shave My Vagina For This?”