[OutVoice] San Antonio, TX: "Iconology 101"

TheChorusBoy at aol.com TheChorusBoy at aol.com
Wed Jan 2 02:06:58 EST 2008


 
 
Southwest  Actors Guide 
January  2008 
ICONOLOGY 101 
In  “ICONS 2,”  Jade Esteban Estrada is a drama queen with a lesson plan 
By  JACK MILES 
Read  it online: 
_http://www.getjaded.com/media-rev37.htm_ 
(http://www.getjaded.com/media-rev37.htm)  
or  
_http://www.swagmag.net_ (http://www.swagmag.net/)  
Jade Esteban Estrada is Alexander the Great in "ICONS: The Lesbian and  Gay 
History of the World, Vol. 2. Photo by SCOTT HELSEL. 
Conquest.  Religion. Sacrifice. Sweat. Politics. Fate. These were just a  few 
of the  themes that took shape in the form of six new lesbian and gay icons 
in the  encore performance of the nationally touring production of "_ICONS:  T
he Lesbian and Gay History of the World, Vol. 2_ 
(http://www.iconsofhistory.com/) " at Metropolitan  Community Church of San Antonio on November 14, 2007. 
The show was directed by  David Miguel Estrada with book, music, lyrics, 
choreography and performance by  "master entertainer" _Jade  Esteban Estrada_ 
(http://www.getjaded.com/) . Additional musical arrangements were by _Tracy  Stark_ 
(http://www.tracystark.com/) . Although _Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)   
repeats a format that has proven a superb vehicle for his singing, acting and  
comedic abilities, the middle show in the "_ICONS_ 
(http://www.iconsofhistory.com/) "  trilogy sets itself apart by demonstrating in him a social 
consciousness that  glitters beyond the glitz and glamour of the Broadway-caliber 
musical  comedy.   
Born in 2004 at the Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, the  
sequel to "_ICONS:  The Lesbian and Gay History of the World, Vol. 1_ 
(http://www.iconsofhistory.com/) " (the show that  brought Sappho, Michelangelo, Oscar 
Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Rivera and  Ellen DeGeneres to the stage) won 
the Audience Favorite in Solo Performance  Award in its opening weekend and 
later played the Bonham Exchange Ballroom in  downtown San Antonio in 2005. 
The eclectic show begins with _Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)   
delivering a public television inspired introduction advising the audience that  they 
needed worry if they happen to "miss anything" in the program. Dressed in a  
black cape and Spartan sandals he adds, "History has a funny way of repeating  
itself." In a line that sets the tone for the entire evening, it seems clear  
early on that "_ICONS  2_ (http://www.iconsofhistory.com/) " takes a more 
serious look at the legacy left by lesbians and gays  than its predecessor. Not 
willing to lose his listeners with too much  information all at once, he peppers 
his stories with a signature silliness that  has made him a YouTube favorite. 
He follows his lofty description of Alexander  the Great's mother Princess 
Olympias of Epirus  with a stone-faced, "no, really - she was hot."  
_Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)   stripped off the cape to reveal a 
dazzling red and silver gladiator costume  complete with a half-arm of armor. The 
musical opens with "the greatest funeral  in recorded history." The death 
scene of Alexander's companion Hephaistion is  painted with dubbed vocals of 
hearty male voices carrying the deceased as  Alexander sings "Hephaistion." 
_Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/) 's  velvety voice expresses a pop sound 
reminiscent of Rick Astley. Alexander sings  about the difficulty of moving forward in 
his life without his beloved.  
_Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/) ,  who is known for including audience 
interaction in his performances, limits the  time in the house to the upbeat 
song "Alexander" when he channelled the spirit  of Elvis Presley in a 
Latin-fused number rallying the right side of the theatre  to compete with the left side 
for a position in his army. The true comedy arose  when the unsuspecting 
audience didn't immediately respond to the freshly broken  forth wall. For those 
unfamiliar with _Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/) 's  stage work or the 
genre of the one-person show, this improvised section gives  the viewers the 
opportunity to see _Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)   in his element. The 
veteran stand-up comedian seems to make it a point to make  sure the audience is 
with him in his onstage journey. He stops the show, sits on  a woman's lap and 
asks, "are you getting everything that I'm sayin' up  here?" 
_Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)   ended the Alexander segment when he 
revealed that he didn't feel so well. "I  hope it's not malaria," is one of the 
many historically accurate tidbits he  throws in to educate while 
entertaining.  
One of the actor's most convincing onstage transitions was his transformation 
 from Alexander to Queen Christina of Sweden,  the monarch who abdicated the 
throne and converted to Catholicism.  His  voice, body language and face 
soften as he becomes youthful and scatterbrained  while trying on the royal attire 
before her famous announcement to the people of Sweden.  The song she sings, 
"Unearth me" was effervescent. _Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)   utilizes 
time compression effectively by starting the song at age 18 ending up  as a 28 
year old woman with an attitude. The change came as a genuine surprise  as 
_Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)   sculpted her personality before our very 
eyes.   
_Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)   next became the prudish Susan B. 
Anthony, the women's suffrage activist who sang  the song "The Politics of 
Inclusion." The actor did not spend too much time with  the details of looking exactly 
like the characters he portrayed. Instead, almost  by hypnosis, he convinced 
the audience to believe that what they were witnessing  was real.  
_Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/) 's  fourth icon drew applause before the 
character's first lines were uttered from  those old enough to remember her 
rise to fame. Dressed in a cute, white tennis  skirt, wristbands, headband, and 
period glasses, _Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)   channeled tennis great 
Billie Jean King walking across the stage with the gait  of a warrior. 
_Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)   reenacted the "Battle  of the Sexes" 
tennis match against rival Bobby Riggs in 1973 which was a  significant 
landmark in the development of equality between men and women.   He ran from side to 
side swooping the tennis racket inches away from the front  row much to the 
delight of the spectators. _Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/) 's  King was 
sheer poetry in motion.  
"Do you consider yourself an athlete or a woman?" asked a recorded voice  
imitating sportscaster Howard Cosell. Kings responds, "I consider myself an  
athlete and a woman...but today you can just call me - the winner."  
"The show stopping number of the evening (_Estrada_ 
(http://www.getjaded.com/)   slid a similar number as Oscar Wilde in "_ICONS  1_ 
(http://www.iconsofhistory.com/) ") was "Helluva Guy" in a portrayal of Harvey Milk, the first 
openly  gay man to be elected to public office in the U.S. Milk was shot in the 
head at  San Francisco City Hall in 1978 by a fellow city supervisor. In this 
number, he  attempts to win the public vote with an aerobic song and dance 
number.  Curiously, in the lyrics of this song is the only time the word "gay" is 
uttered  during the entire show.  
He changes the feel a bit when Milk performs "The Mayor of Castro Street" 
when  the audience sees the politician ten months later speaking to his staff the 
 afternoon of his assassination. _Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/) 's  
hand carefully guides the audience through a whirlwind of emotions. He makes it  
okay to laugh one minute and cry the next without remorse.  
_Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/) 's  boldest number is the finale when he 
resurrected Mark Bingham, the United  Airlines passenger who called his 
mother in flight to tell her he loved her and  that the passengers were about to 
fight back against terrorists before they died  in a pasture in Pennsylvania. 
There was an eeriness in watching him mention the  infamous date while getting a 
taxi receipt. "May I get a receipt, please? Uhmm.  The 11th. September 11th. 
Thanks. Tax write-off." Bingham smiles good-heartedly  and waves goodbye to 
the driver.  The song "Someday You Might Be a Hero" is  riveting and the chorus 
is chilling.  
Although years had passed since that day that changed the world in 2001, the  
audience seemed to have been taken on a magic carpet ride of conquest, 
religion,  sacrifice, sweat, politics and fate. Destinies that have not just shaped 
lesbian  and gay history - but world history. And that seems to be _Estrada_ 
(http://www.getjaded.com/) 's  point.  
One Kansas  critic called _Estrada_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)   "one of the 
finest solo theatre artists of the 21st century." After the  exhilarating 
performance of "_ICONS  2_ (http://www.iconsofhistory.com/) ," the public that 
rose to their feet in applause seemed to agree  with that.  

©2008  Southwest Actors Guide 
Check  out Jade on YouTube.com: 
_http://youtube.com/watch?v=DERgoYAU2pM_ 
(http://youtube.com/watch?v=DERgoYAU2pM)  
Also,  check out the new designer humor line of greeting cards from Jade 
Esteban  Estrada.  
“Jade  Esteban Estrada for Nos Vemos Greetings” 
_www.nosvemosgreetings.com_ (http://www.nosvemosgreetings.com/)  
_www.getjaded.com_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)  





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