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"Theater Review: The Balthazar Show proves performance art is alive and well"

Performance art has a unique way of taking a concept or set of concepts and birthing a visual that is sometimes understood, sometimes shocking to the senses, but engaging still the same.
Often thought of as art reserved for crazy, non-conformist fringe performers who can't cut it in "normal" theater circumstances, this genre of art is perhaps the most spontaneous of all arts forms since there are no boundaries in the preparation or presentation.
In fact, due to the lack of structure, a performance arts piece can find itself continually regenerating itself like a stem cell, meaning creation of the product never ends. What a concept, which falls on deaf ears for a theater community that relies on recycling tried and true work without exploring new ideas.
The performing ensemble of The Balthazar Show now running at the DFW Fringe Festival, hosted by the Dallas Hub Theater, explored so multiple ideas at warp speed that at times you had to refocus and remember the basic premise of the piece: adolescent themes of pop idols and middle school sentimentality.
But the jockeying back and forth of ideas didn't make the show any less fun, in fact, it was a blast of a ride.
Coming to the audience in the incarnation of that enigmatic Balthazar was wild thang Leslie Hensley. Hensley had a number of musical numbers, two that really worked including one titled "Don't Touch Me" ("cause it burns like acid!"), in which she croons and swoons with the raspy edge and energy of a young Janis Joplin.
Hensley's second memorable tune was the popular Cher song "If I Could Turn Back Time," which she dedicated to "all the troops and drag queens" and then delivered it on par with Cher (and a drag queen). The audience ate it up.
It is through a series of video clips running consistently through the piece behind the performance area where Hensley really shines. Shot with such artistic creativity by videographer Dustin Haynes, at some points the action in the clips was better and funnier than the live talent.
Hensley is naturally photogenic on film and perhaps should explore ways to incorporate more parts of this element into the show and look for ways to mainstream her art using this medium. One clip, a parody of Britney Spears video "Everytime" was hysterical, as was a second number called "My Poop Smells Like Whiskey," in which Annie Oakley-like Hensley gives her best country and western (and it was good!).
The vibe of the piece belonged to S!, played with incredible energy by the extremely talented and bootylicious Sarah Henry. If you need a visual, think Twiggy from the 60s and Beyonce. The two spawn an offspring in an isolated trailer park camper in nowhere Arkansas. That baby would be S!/Henry.
Dancing throughout the entire piece, including a kick ass routine with Hensley and fellow ensemble members Sunshine Surprise, played by Rianna Schofield and TheKeyOfTorby, played by Tory Gonzales, this chick was all over the place, even wrapping most of the audience members in toilet paper as Hensley performed her "Poop" tune.
Henry's best moment was a caricature of a drunk girl smashed out of her mind dancing in a club (i.e., the performance space and audience member's laps) while Hensley sings a rockin tune called "I Was Drunk." This routine was so funny, especially when she started to dry hump a pillar grinning widely, oblivious as if on an acid trip, and kisses it while holding her beer bottle. Ah, those wonderful days of college...
Again, performance art is about exploration and The Balthazar Show works as a good concept, despite a couple of segments that didn't seem to work including a new age-like spaceship episode or full utilization of the other ensemble members. Like another performance piece I reviewed Dead Girls Circus, the interactive nature of this show would work well in a Vegas setting where travelers are looking for ways to escape the humdrum of everyday life. The Balthazar Show would help them get there. -


Still working on that hot first release.



Genre: Rock Comedy
Origin: Castle Gray Skull
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What the Fuck:
Balthazar is a multi-media rock n’ roll extravaganza comedy!
The Balthazar show combines theatrical, musical, dance,
costuming, and multimedia performance art, which is
complemented by an abundance of visual props and
audience participation.

Balthazar examines adolescent themes of pop idols and
middle school sentimentality in a very vaudevillian style
complete with campy original compositions, chorography,
and song parodies. The stage is shared with an array of
other performers, including The Magic Gravy Force
(dancers), The Thunder Voxes ( back-up singers), Unicorn
Mafia (technical crew), Fury Masterminds (marketing design
gurus), and other mystical creatures.

Balthazar comes from the furious backwoods of arkansas. Hatched in a laboratory. Born in a hospital. BALTHAZAR shed her skin and revealed her spandex scales,begining her journey through the mystical,mayonnaise-filled earthly realm. Naturally armed with her abilities of comedy,rock, and flexibility, she filled her destiny by becoming one with the FURY and unleashing herself on the world. Balthazar is a prehistoric beast that can truly slay a dragon, ride a unicorn and take the kraken as her bitch!

Balthazar first debuted in December of 2006 at one of Oklahoma City’s premier art shows, Momentum, presented
by the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC).

Since then Balthazar has performed locally and in surrounding areas, including Tulsa, Norman, Dallas, Hot
Springs, and Wichita.

In 2007 Balthazar was invited to New Genre XIV in, Tulsa,
Showcasing the best in performance art.

In 2009 offical selection and and producers pick winner at Dallas Hub Theatre Fringe Festival

Balthazar has supported many national touring acts including, Mad Happy, Quintron and Miss Pussy Cat,
and Bob Log III.
The show is ever changing and adapting so whenever the captain of the gravy boat can be found and
the sounds of the mystical mayonnaise can be heard prepare for Balthazar...Chances are your face will be rocked