Ever stood on a hill in the middle of Europe waiting for the Blessed Virgin to appear? Gutted rabbits in Macedonia or sell eggs and potatoes door-to-door in Brussels? Or been a bag lady outside of Victor Hugo’s apartment in Paris? Stella Pulo has.
Stella’s a writer and performer who’s done it all. She writes stories and articles for newspapers and magazines and one woman shows for herself to perform. In 1992 Stella became the first Australian to be honored with lifetime membership into the Actors Studio. Stella is originally from Melbourne, Australia and now lives in New York City. Next Sunday, March 3, 7PM, at the Abingdon Theatre at 312 W. 36th St., Stella’s presents a “book performance,” in character and in costume, called “Shrimp Shells in My Cleavage.”
What is “Shrimp Shells in my Cleavage?” As Stella describes it, it all began from behind a white plastic desk in the ladies’ bathroom of AXIS, a discotheque in Malta. She’d gone to check out her roots and to kill some time before returning to New York for her final audition at The Actors Studio. From 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. her job at AXIS was to make sure that no one smoked in the cubicles, went there in pairs or dropped dead from heat exhaustion.
At AXIS the music was so loud that the vibrations often made the toilet bowls crack. She was sometimes able to have a conversation, but not often. And since she couldn’t hear anyone speak, and her body language only got her into trouble, she decided to sit there for twelve hours a night marrying her memories and notes. It was from behind that white plastic desk that Shrimp Shells in My Cleavage emerged. She thought that one day she’d transform these bits and pieces into something else. She wasn’t sure what: first it was the book Shrimp Shells in My Cleavage and now it’s a “book performance” in character and in costume.
It’s sure to be a hoot. Tickets are $20 but if you put in the code “shrimp” you’ll pay just $15. www.abingdontheatre.com
Here’s what some folks are saying about Stella:
“If she hadn’t pulled rabbits out of her cart, I wouldn’t have known she was a Comédienne. She’s lucky I didn’t arrest her!” A policewoman in Paris
“She could have done other things to make a buck like sell the eggs from her ovaries.” Dobie in Hammersmith
“She couldn’t control herself. Fell into my lap and just stayed there!” Businessman in London
“I liked her but she was a little crazy. Sat there writing all night. In the toilet of a discotheque! Said something about … shrimp shells.” Carmen in Malta