This is a thing that just happened, and these are words I need to see together:
Tonight I saw a performance by a woman channeling Maria Anna Mozart (“Nannerl”) at a house named “Wonderland” at the corner of Royal and Desire streets in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Of course, she wasn’t really channeling Nannerl, or at least she didn’t claim to, but in a city full of ghosts it is so easy to believe Miss Mozart herself was present.
(Can I call her Nannerl? We certainly weren’t acquainted. Is that disrespectful? Maria Anna, then.)
But I have to talk about this show. I expected that a performance about the younger Mozart’s lesser-known sister would have to be good. That they even knew Mozart had a sister spoke volumes. I couldn’t have expected what I got. The young woman performing the lead (and only) role embodied Maria Anna so well that it could only have come from a deep pool of admiration and some connection to the real person she sought to evoke when she put on that dress and pouffed up that hair. After the show I asked her fellow player (who switches the role with her at different performance times) who wrote the piece. The actress, Sylvia Milo, was the writer, her partner me, and she’d “been playing it for years.”
Be still, my heart, another nerd of the 18th century variety.
You can see it, too, if you’re in New Orleans for this year’s Fringe Fest, but be quick, for it’s only got the lifespan of a weekend. If you have the misfortune to be in some other, frozen clime, then look to http://www.theothermozart.com/upcoming-performances for your next best chance. It would appear she travels all over.
Like all savvy modern artists, she and her co-conspirators have a crowdfunding site at https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=4624#giving_levels, and at one level you receive a handmade music box with original music from the play. May I remind you all that Christmas is upon us, and that music box would look and sound nice in my home…