Puddles Pity Party 2/5/2015
The Hamilton, Washington DC –
by Brian Willis
It’s not every day that one sees a 6’8″ clown, much less a 6’8″ sad clown with an amazing singing voice. But it happened and it wasn’t a dream or a hallucination or even the result of intoxication. Puddles, the sad faced clown with a golden voice, graced the stage of The Hamilton Friday night with his unique act to the delight of a full house of fans. Part cabaret act and part performance art with subtle nods to such greats as Emmet Kelly and Marcel Marceau, the Puddles persona that has been carefully crafted by Mike Geier evokes the feel of a modern day version of Charlie Chaplin’s beloved “Little Tramp” character with his mischievousness and pathos mixed with a touch of Andy Kaufman-esque awkwardness to complete the character. Indeed, the “Puddles” and “The Little Tramp” characters could easily be long lost brothers.
Puddles came into existence in 1999 for the formation of an all-clown band based called “Greasepaint” in Atlanta. When the band broke up, Puddles continued on, performing in the “Dames Aflame” showgirl revue as well as several other shows, including a special guest spot in the 2010 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Live tour, touring with the rock band “The Eels” across the U.S. and Europe, and doing a show on the Cartoon Network called “Sunday Pants” for which he wrote music and was a character in the live action portions of the show. He was also a regular fixture in New York in the legendary 2011 fully immersive play “Sleep No More.” In 2013, Puddles recorded a stunning version of Lordes’ hit “Royals” with the band “Postmodern Jukebox” which quickly went viral with over 8 million hits to date and launched him to international fame.
The Puddles Pity Party show is not like any other show you are likely to see. There is no band – instead Puddles relies on a karaoke soundtrack that emphasizes his on-stage solitude and backs his soaring vocals. From “Lonely Guy” to “Royals,” Puddles performed most of the songs that he has appeared in on You Tube and Puddles does indeed have a “golden voice” – smooth and irresistable. He also has the lung power to hit and hold the hardest of notes with ease. Puddles had the audience, many of whom were wearing Puddles shirts and sporting the trademark Puddles crown, enraptured from the moment he hit the stage and kept them that way until the evening’s end. And while his voice is undeniably spectacular, that’s only part of the appeal of this character. Puddles manages to convey a full spectrum of emotions and ideas without ever saying a word and the resulting audience interaction plays a big part in the Puddles experience. To reveal any more of the act would spoil the fun and that would be a crying shame. So get out and see Puddle Pity Party if you get the chance – this is one show you won’t soon forget!
There is an excellent interview with “Big Mike” Geier (the man behind the makeup) written by Jeff Stafford that details more about this multifaceted and multitalented artist’s numerous projects at http://www.artsatl.com/2013/08/preview-kingsized-mike-geier-continues-follow-ever-growing-ever-ecl ectic-muse/