I have several times mentioned Donna Barr and her creation the Desert Peach, who is my hero for many reasons, not least because he has his priorities straight.
Harlan Ellison once said that the important things in life were sex, violence and labor relations.
The Peach is more idealistic and votes for Love, Honor, Death, and Tea.
I am a Darjeeling and Assam woman, myself, though all tea is divine; I must find out from Donna what the Peach’s favorite brew is, when he can get it.
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Posted in Reading Matter, tagged Afrika Korps, black-and-white comics, Desert Peach, DOnna Barr, gay comics heroes, gay fiction, historical fiction, independent comics, military fiction, vintage comics, World War II, World War II Satire on March 30, 2009 |
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Lieber Herren und Damen:
It’s the Return of the Peach!
Now I know what the fabulous Donna Barr has been moiling at all these months. The Desert Peach is my hero: suave, courteous, self-controlled, brave, tender-hearted, with a core of steel (if you’re a gay officer in the Afrika Korps, you better have that) and an earring of pearl. “Love, Honor, Death, and Tea”: who could contrive a better motto? (Especially the tea.) The early chapters of his adventures have been catch-as-catch-can for years, like so many independent comics turned out by small presses. Now, starting right at the beginning, we can have the Daily Peach!
And if that isn’t enough, all the old chapters will be back in single-issue format through the POD site Lulu, which rocks.
I have not given up on my ambition of seeing the musical version of the Peach’s story return to the stage. There is a director with a bad back, who knows the director of the local company that likes musicals, and she stands ready to tip me the wink when she senses that he is restless for a new property. We have a collection of sound clips assembled by her partner who works in radio (you can listen — oh go on, hover on the music icon at: Song Clips from the Desert Peach Musical to get the player). Readiness is all.
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I mentioned in an earlier post Donna Barr’s strip The Desert Peach, which gave birth to an operetta. It’s a zippy, surreal, campy piece with music by the late Michael Seyfrit, a genius of sardonic schmalz who could work miracles with a three-man orchestra.
I am not only a fan of this piece but I have been trying sporadically (time and energy in my life permitting) to get it performed again after fifteen years on the shelf. I live close enough to Washington, D.C. that I was able to get it into the hands of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, who unfortunately advise me that they have scaled back from staging lengthy dramatic performances. But they can do it, as this demonstrates:
I had the good fortune to be at this performance. It was the only time I have ever seen a womens’ restroom in a theater opened, by tacit communal pity, to men who were waiting in a line that snaked around the lobby. The chorus did the whole operetta — you should pardon the expression — straight, except for the opening number in which the chorus of pirates flung the contents of their treasure chest, consisting of feather boas and an occasional rude silicone device, from the stage down to lucky catchers in the orchestra seats.
And Davina Pons — Mabel in this clip. O Gesumaria. This woman — I say woman she is, the glamorous anima of whatever nameless man channels her to walk the earth — is my dream Pfirsich Rommel, the Desert Peach. (Yes: he’s the imaginary …pretty brother of Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox.) If mezzos and altos can play Octavian and Cherubino, if Leonora can appear first as a young man named Fidelio, I can dream that the magnificent, six-foot-plus Davina would consent to perform the luminous counter-tenor music of Pfirsich in a trouser role. It seems almost fated — click these thumbnails, I swear they were separated at birth:
Donna Barr’s Peach Poster
Should I try interesting the diva first, or go after my next idea for a new company and director? An operetta about an army at war in the desert to get control of oil, with a gay love interest (the Peach played off against Rosen Kavalier, a splendidly amoral bisexual Luftwaffe pilot): could it be more timely?
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