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The Return of the Great Blue Heron II

June 21, 2008, 8pm, Gallery 6, 30 Beach Street, Stapleton

Join Trish and Christoph and the Staten Island Freak Corps for their latest North Show sequel, the Return of the Great Blue Heron II, on June 21, 2008, 8pm at Gallery 6, 30 Beach Street in Stapleton, SI.

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The Staten Island Freak Corps Members for June 21, '08:

Lars (Christoph) Mayer, a native from Göttingen, Germany, moved from Cologne and Berlin to Staten Island in 2000 in the course of his studies in Music Theory at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. He worked as Management Assistant for the not-for-profit arts and technology organization ASCI ( until 2005. Christoph studied classical guitar since the age of 10 and wrote and recorded music for film, fashion, art and drama.
 Since 2004, Christoph and his wife Trish Strombeck perform and record songs about life on Staten Island’s north shore, involving film, photo, comedy and special guests.
They received recognition in numerous newspapers, including an in-depth feature in the NY Times (Bohemia by the Bay, Oct 7, 2007). Their version of a 2007 Blue Staten Island Xmas received notable mention on the famous NJ radio station WFMU.

Trish Strombeck, a native from Kingston, NY, moved to Staten Island from Brooklyn 2002. She learned the flute early and occasionally plays it on recordings. On stage and in the studio she sings lead and harmony and plays percussive instruments such as buckets, saw blades, drums and glockenspiel. Trish works as Vision Specialist on Staten Island.

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Opening act Sweet Soubrette is New York artist Ellia Bisker. She plays the ukulele and sings and writes songs about love (mainly the doomed kind), with a sound that brings to mind artists like Regina Spektor and the Magnetic Fields.
 She got her start in show business the old-fashioned way: by running away with the circus. A stint with the offbeat Bindlestiff Family Circus developed her gift for spectacle. Bust Magazine recently described her as "Brooklyn's fishnet-clad femme fatale," and it can't be denied that her dangerously seductive songs are an irresistible invitation into deep new waters.

Arrow Mueller is a preparator/art handler/registrar of art work at the Leo Castelli Gallery in Manhattan. Arrow also helped install the tugboat exhibition at the Noble Maritime Collection at the Snug Harbor cultural center. He received a Junefest grant in 2006.

Ginger Baker  Ginger Baker trained in myriad dance forms from ballet to flamenco to salsa, and everything in between. She was drawn to burlesque as a way to combine her love of dance with her passion for positive sexuality. Ginger brought in 2008 by performing at the Slipper Room, a world famous burlesque performance space. When she arrived home two hours of travel later, she looked around and realized that Staten Island's thriving cultural scene was curiously devoid of glitter, sequins and tassels. She immediately set out to remedy this tragic situation, bringing a monthly extravaganza of sassy striptease, vampy vaudeville and shocking sideshow to the Forgotten Borough. Of course, she still squeezes in time to perform in the city!

Sam Williams was drafted into the Freak Corps after a series of music-themed conversations with Christoph in 2005-2006. His past artistic pursuits have included the books, "Arguing A.I.: The Battle for 21st Century," published by the Random House Books @Random imprint, and "Free As In Freedom," a biography of free software pioneer Richard Stallman and the 1990s television show "High Country Climber." He currently works as an algebra teacher at Curtis High School.
Mona Le Roy is trained primarily in Brazilian and Middle Eastern Dance. She danced with Mystical Motion, Caribbean Rose and PURE. Mona produced experimental choreographies and performed them all over NYC and in the Netherlands. Through her solo work she began to incorporate kitsch and humor in her dance and costumes. As she was exploring non-traditional dance she began performing physical comedy with the Department of Correctional Dance and Kendall Cornell's Soon-To-Be-World-Famous Women’s Clown Troupe. Mona has performed at the American Museum of Natural History, Rakkasah East, the World Culture Open Diversity Festival at Lincoln Center, Dance Theater Workshop, at a special performance for the Cirque du Soleil, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, and at the West End Theatre to name a few. Mona also teaches traditional Brazilian and Middle Eastern Dance as well as off beat choreographies from cult films and music videos.

Wilder Selzer   Wilder Selzer is a singer and actor. He has performed with They Might Be Giants and The Violent Femmes. He performed at the 2007  Tribeca Film Festival alongside Mario Cantone, promoting the Sony Pictures Film "Surf's Up".


The June 21 Show
The Return of the Great Blue Heron II is a musical revue that includes music, narration, guest dancers, film and photo. Like all shows by Trish and Christoph, it is about life on Staten Island as we know it, with all its funny, annoying, tragic and beautiful aspects. Staten Island, like no other borough of New York can claim such a variety of typical American lifestyles; suburban row houses next to Victorian mansions and urban projects. There is expansive woodland, golf courses, board walks and even rodeo.
In this North Show sequel, we will look into cases of numerous UFOs sightings that have been reported locally and into a potential connection to strange bird species. With the help of courageous volunteers, we will celebrate the vast variety of local wildlife and once again, try to make sense of the abundance of vinyl siding and the shapes of town houses.

The North Show

The North Show is derived from Trish and Christoph’s Songs from the North Shore and stands for their musical multimedia performances, which are subdivided into different episodes and sequels.

The Staten Island Freak Corps

Is a varying assembly of special guests, dancers, musicians, artists, etc. that appear for different episodes of Trish and Christoph’s North Show. 

Gallery Six, on 30 Beach Street, just around the corner from the old Paramount Theater, is a one-year-old 5,500sqft special projects venue that allows for large-scale exhibitions and performances.

Stapleton and the North Shore of Staten Island

Stapleton, the long-time commercial center of Staten Island, has struggled to revive after several decades of neglect following the building in 1964 of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, which shifted the commercial development of the island to its interior. By 1970 most piers alongside the Stapleton Waterfront had been demolished. In 1983 Stapleton was chosen to become a navy homeport as part of the military build up ordered by President Ronald Reagan, which resulted in further loss of civilian jobs and businesses. The still incomplete and always controversial base was cancelled in 1993 after years of debates and major cutback in military spending.
On October 26th, 2006, the New York City Council approved a massive redevelopment plan for the site. It will be transformed into a new community with 350 housing units, restaurants, parks, a recreation center and farmers' market. The City Council pushed the project through its final regulatory hurdle when it approved the $66 million blueprint for the former Navy base.
In 2007 a report from the Center for Urban Future, a public policy think-tank, predicts that, "without a change in direction," Staten Island is in for "an economic decline and a significant deterioration in its quality of life", with younger people skipping the island for trendier neighborhoods. This, in turn, will attract one-sided business types in social services and downscale retail.

Cultural life on Staten Island’s North Shore

While there’s been a lot of talk of revitalizing the north shore of Staten Island, locals however tend to hover between modest optimism and blunt skepticism. For some residents the area had to endure too many nose-dives in the last 25 years. Confidence in the promises of public elected officials and business leaders is modest at best despite a 66-million-dollar plan to restructure the former navy base and vast stretches of waterfront. Even with 450,000 inhabitants, a number that constitutes a large American city, nightlife on the north shore (which local leaders consider “Downtown S.I.”) is still confined to a relatively small number of often under-visited bars. So is live music and entertainment, which mainly takes place on less than a handful of stages and rarely attracts bands from other boroughs. Young people on the lookout for the real New York nightlife are mostly Manhattan- or Brooklyn- bound, while the local scene remains unchallenged by the outside world.
At the same time abandoned waterfront property, squalid Victorian homes, defaced antique facades and vacant new buildings are common sight. Whatever the reasons are, bulky bureaucracy, poor communication between business owners and community leaders, the North Shore surely has great potential for the development and enrichment of its own communities.

In the spring of 2008, the artists’ community is finally claiming its deserved spot on the local map. Aside from the Staten Island Freak Corps’ musical revue at Gallery 6 in Stapleton, three local organizations, the Staten Island Creative Community, the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI) and the ArtLab already cut a deal with local real estate agents and will move into the old “Fishs Eddy” building, on 139 Bay St., for two weekends of arts and performances, between June 14 and June 21. Simultaneously the revived St. George Theatre, a Rococo-style vaudeville palace from 1926, one of the largest of its kind in the New York area, and the nearby Public Library will host spoken word by poets, writers, and performing artists. And on June 14, Staten Island will have its first installment of “Rock The Harbor” at the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center, with a wide array of local acts, headlined by the internationally recognized “Budos Band”.



Beach Street is just a 3 minute walk from Stapleton station, two stops with the SI Railway from St. George Ferry Terminal.

Bus numbers: S78, S76, S51.

Click here for Google map


This event is supported by the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island and is made possible in part by funding from the New York City Department of Cultural affairs.

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Last Update 2008-06-15 | Copyrightę Christoph Mayer 2009 print page: The Return of the Great Blue Heron II | E-mail a friend about this site: The Return of the Great Blue Heron II

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The Return of the Great Blue Heron 2.1
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