[The 90’s raw: Millie’s orchid show #2]

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. This footage was shot with a static camera. Performers/performances include: House-O-Matic, a teenage dance group; Lisa Coaten, who performs an instructional parody, "Spring Training: Miss America"; a 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. [This tape contains the static version of more shaky / close-up footage on another tape.]

00:00Copy video clip URL The tape opens by looking at a TV screen as the videomaker adjusts his angle. Some balloons block the view. The audio cuts out briefly.

01:27Copy video clip URL The camera cuts to a shot of a magician onstage, who performs small tricks like pulling flowers out of an empty container.

05:40Copy video clip URL The tape cuts, and the show begins. A song plays while the stage is black. We see 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. As Milly tells her story, giant flowers, a giant bunny, butterfly, and bee come onstage. She then begins to sing, “Everything is beautiful in its own way,” while some of the other characters dance. Some back-up singers come on stage. She ends by saying, “Happy Spring, Y’all!” and thanking her back-up singers, and some of the flowers help her get out of her giant skirt.

15:38Copy video clip URL Now out of her skirt, Murphy puts on her heels, tells jokes to the audience about an ulcer, gets a cocktail, and invites people up to eat liverwurst. She asks for two chairs on the stage.

24:51Copy video clip URL Murphy lists the performers that will be in her variety show. She introduces House-O-Matic, a hip hop dance group.

26:44Copy video clip URL House-O-Matic’s performance begins with a strobe light. 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, and a soloist comes onstage. 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. They arrange themselves in couples and dance provocatively, and then bow as the audience cheers.

34:09Copy video clip URL Murphy comes on stage again (as Milly), tells an anecdote about New York, and introduces Lisa Coaten and her “spring training” routine.

35:45Copy 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. The camera goes black, and we see something playing on a screen, but the lights are dim. It appears to be Coaten, and the Miss America song plays. The camera zooms to an image of Coaten as Miss America, blowing kisses at the camera.

42:37Copy video clip URL Murphy comes back onstage to introduce the next act, Eriks McNeill (?).

43:36Copy video clip URL McNeill sings an R&B song with provocative lyrics such as, “Girl you are so fine, and all I wanna do, I wanna make love to you.” 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.

47:23Copy video clip URL Murphy, as Milly, comes on stage and asks the boys age — he is only 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. She introduces Emo Phillips, a comedian, and advertises his upcoming show at the Music Box.

52:13Copy 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 announces he will perform a modern dance of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Dramatic music begins to play.

01:03:30Copy video clip URL 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.

01:06:47Copy video clip URL Murphy (as Milly) returns, and says that it is time for a word from their sponsor. The screen comes on again, to show a mock advertisement for sausage starring Murphy. She sits in a shopping cart which rolls through a parking lot as she describes the sausages.

01:09:14Copy video clip URL Back to Milly, who wraps up the ad segment and then 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.

01:11:32Copy video clip URL The band begins to play for the 90 second art show, we see paintings for 3 seconds each, but the lights are so dim that most are barely visible.

01:13:34Copy video clip URL The “art show” ends and Milly introduces the Texas Rubies.

01:14:55Copy video clip URL 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 alcohol brands like Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort and Wild Turkey. Then they sing another song about a bartender that is more fast-paced.

01:22:32Copy 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 apparently 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.

01:30:25Copy 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 for three minutes a month. Milly and the audience members stretch, and the camera looks at the audience members raising their arms. The work-out includes a “big hip section” to the tune of Milly’s own song (which spells out the word “divorce”).

01:35:52Copy video clip URL Milly introduces her little sister, Willie Mae, who is dressed in the orange sheer jumpsuit. Willie brings up the man in the velour jumpsuit, and performs a monologue with a spoon stuck on her nose.

01:39:25Copy video clip URL Murphy comes back onstage, who talks about Gus van Sant. She said she talked on the phone to Gus van Sant about finding a short film of his, “My New Friend.” She introduces a 3 minute movie called, “My Friend.”

01:43:17Copy video clip URL The stage goes dark, and the screen shows “My Friend,” a short film by Gus van Sant. The film follows a man whose best friend questions his sexuality. The man goes to spend the weekend with his best friend, and gets a black eye. The film is black and white, and we can both see and hear it relatively well.

01:45:55Copy video clip URL Murphy talks about next month’s show, which will feature John Kelly. She introduces an unannounced guest, the musician Jim Lauderdale, who will be playing at Schubas.

01:47:34Copy 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 he plays a tribute to Graham Parsons and George Jones, the “King of Broken Hearts.” He asks Milly which song he should play next, and they determine that he should play, “Wake Up Screaming.”

01:59:37Copy video clip URL Milly returns to the stage, and the tape cuts shortly thereafter.

01:59:55Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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