[The 90’s raw: Millie’s orchid show #1]

Raw footage for the award-winning series The 90's. A recording of a live performance of "Milly's Orchid Show," a variety show at the Park West in Chicago, starring Brigid Murphy. Murphy emcee's the show in the character of Southern Belle Milly Mae Smithy for this live comedy / variety show. Performers/performances include: House-O-Matic, a teenage dance group; Lisa Coaten, who performs an instructional parody, "Spring Training: Miss America"; an unidentified, young teenage boy who sings a provocative R & B song, during which he strips off his shirt; comedian Emo Philips performs his typically eccentric stand-up act; the Texas Rubies, a female duo, perform a comedic rap and some country songs; and a performance by musician Jim Lauderdale. [The same footage is captured on another tape, but with a static camera.]

00:00Copy video clip URL The camera records a young boy and girl with a sign that says, “How Winter Turned Into Spring.” The crowd claps enthusiastically, the curtains draw back to reveal Murphy dressed as Milly Mae Smithie with a sign that says “Mt Milly.” She speaks with a Southern accent, and is dressed in a ball gown, with a globe on her head, and a cowboy hat. She tells a comedic story about Earth and her sibling planets. The camera zooms in and out as Milly tells her story, and giant flowers and a giant bunny emerge from under her skirts. She then begins to sing, “Everything is beautiful in its own way,” while some of the other characters dance. Some backup singers come on stage. She ends by saying, “Happy Spring, Y’all!” and thanking her back-up singers while some of the flowers help her get out of her giant skirt.

08:46Copy video clip URL Now out of her skirt, she puts on her heels and tells jokes to the audience about an ulcer, and gets a cocktail. The camera focuses on Murphy’s face. She asks for two chairs on the stage.

18:00Copy video clip URL Murphy lists the performers that will be in her variety show. The camera records the audience, but the room is too dark to see anything. Murphy introduces House-O-Matic, a hip hop dance group.

19:55Copy video clip URL House-O-Matic’s performance begins with a strobe light, and the camera zooms in to look at their drum set. They begin dressed in work clothes to a song with lyrics, “I been workin’,” but the music changes and they take off their shirts to reveal brightly colored track suits. The camera shakes and jolts as they begin to dance. The music changes, and a few very young dancers come on stage. Then, people dressed in white shirts that say “Duke” dance energetically to house music. They solo one by one, and the camera zooms in on their feet. They arrange themselves in couples and dance provocatively briefly, and then bow as the audience cheers.

27:40Copy video clip URL Murphy comes on stage again (as Milly), tells an anecdote, and introduces Lisa Coaten and her “spring training” routine.

28:50Copy video clip URL Coaten comes onstage, as a voiceover describes a program to help her become Miss America. Coaten is dressed in a tiara and a sash that says “Miss America 1992.” The voiceover says humorous things like “Do not breathe unless absolutely necessary,” and Coaten holds her breath. The voiceover instructs her on how to be bulimic, and she mimics vomiting into a paper bag. The lights dim.

33:08Copy video clip URL The tape cuts to a young boy singing an R&B song with provocative lyrics and whose chorus is, “You sure look good tonight.” The boy takes off his blazer as he continues to sing, and the act is amusing because the song seems a bit mature for the boy.

36:11Copy video clip URL Murphy, as Milly, comes on stage and asks the boy’s age — he is 11. She runs off stage trying to find something, and jokes about wanting alcohol. She talks about how she had the Blue Man Group on her variety show twice, and then introduces Emo Phillips, a comedian, and advertises his upcoming show at the Music Box.

40:56Copy video clip URL Emo Phillips comes on stage dressed in a plastic leather jacket and plaid pants. He delivers his routine in a very high pitched voice, and jokes about Chicago, laser eye surgery, etc. He talks to a woman in the audience, and says, “You’re a saucy little genital guillotine.” He jokes about his gifts for his girlfriend, how he has taken ballet lessons since he was a boy, and religion. He continues to joke about various things, and performs a modern dance version of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln: the camera is black, and dramatic music begins to play. A woman in all black (Lisa Coaten?) walks slowly across the stage. Then Phillips comes out in a teal ballet suit with a fake beard and huge stovepipe hat. They sit next to each other in the chairs, and two ninjas begin to play-fight with Phillips. He kills both ninjas, and then accidentally stabs the woman, who dies. He then puts the beard and stovepipe hat on her, and leaves the scene. The stage is dark while people applaud.

55:33Copy video clip URL Murphy (as Milly) returns, and says that it is time for a word from their sponsor. The tape cuts, and she introduces the 90 second art show, because the national average amount of time spent in front of paintings is 3 seconds. She points our attention to a screen.

59:10Copy video clip URL The band begins to play for the 90 second art show, and the camera records the band, which consists of a bassist, drummer and a pianist (who we don’t see).

01:00:50Copy video clip URL The tape cuts to Murphy running offstage as the Texas Rubies come on. They are two women dressed in all black, and they begin a comedic rap. They beat-box, and rap about “home grown tomatoes.” They finish that song, and then the woman on the right picks up an acoustic guitar, as the other one sings a country song that uses the names of alcoholic brands like Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort and Wild Turkey. Then they sing another song that is more fast-paced.

01:08:34Copy video clip URL Murphy comes on stage and advertises a Texas Rubies benefit to send them to Nashville, and tells to people to sign up for their mailing list. She introduces a fashion show that she designed. The sports category is first: A man comes out dressed in a leopard print full body leotard. A woman comes out in a sheer orange jumpsuit. She says, “I intend to popularize the pear shape.” They move on to the swim wear, where a man is dressed in a boa and a leopard print one piece suit. A second man comes out in a two piece, which has a fur blanket attached. Two men come out in ridiculous outfits that are intended for women. For men, she has designed a print coat, with a velour one piece jumpsuit underneath and a walking stick. All the models circle and go offstage.

01:16:25Copy video clip URL She then asks the audience to participate in her own work-out regimen. Instead of exercising, they are “Milly-cising,” which you only need to do three minutes a month. The camera watches Milly and the audience members stretching. The work-out includes a “big hip section” to the tune of Milly’s own song.

01:21:50Copy video clip URL She introduces her little sister, Willie Mae, who is dressed in the orange sheer jumpsuit. She brings up the man in the velour jumpsuit, and then performs a monologue with a spoon stuck on her nose.

01:25:22Copy video clip URL Murphy comes back onstage, and talks about Gus van Sant. The camera zooms in to look at Murphy’s feet. She said she tried to get a part in van Sant’s next movie. She introduces a 3 minute movie called, “My Friend.”

01:29:17Copy video clip URL The tape cuts to Murphy back onstage. She introduces a musician, Jim Lauderdale, who will be playing at Schubas.

01:30:17Copy video clip URL Jim Lauderdale plays an acoustic guitar, wearing a purple blazer, and sings a country song where he asks to be taken seriously, and whose chorus is, “I wasn’t fooling around.” Then he addresses the audience, and plays a tribute to Graham Parsons and George Jones, with the “King of Broken Hearts.” He asks Milly which song he should play next, and they determine that he should play, “Wake Up Screaming.”

01:42:30Copy video clip URL Milly returns, and says there is a birthday in the crowd, so they bring out a cake with candles, and deliver it to a woman in the audience. She brings Scotty Patrick and John Logan onstage, and gives them paintings of Milly, or possibly Madonna (?). She then thanks the two children and introduces the band. She then tells an anecdote, and introduces Cheryl Tree (?).

01:47:55Copy video clip URL Cheryl comes onstage in a small black dress, and tells a story about getting a cappuccino as if she is reading from a catalog. The tape cuts, but Cheryl is still telling the same story. The audience laughs a great deal. The tape cuts multiple times so the story is not coherent on the tape.

01:56:08Copy video clip URL Murphy returns to close the show with her theme song. The tape cuts to the beginning of the country song: “I’m a sucker for a trucker.” We see her background dancers, and they all bow to the band, and then Murphy dances in a silly way before singing again. The tape cuts to Murphy in the arms of her dancers thanking the crowd and leaving the stage. The show ends, and we see the audience milling around.

02:02:00Copy video clip URL End of tape.

 

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