“I’d say we’re a cross between the Sonny and Cher show meets the Muppets. On acid.”
That’s how Scott Bradley, one-half of the creative genius behind The Scooty and Jojo Show, describes the aesthetic sensibility of their work.
The other half of this pair is Jonny “Jojo” Stax, Scott’s (Scooty’s) real-life life partner. Together for the past four years they’ve created gender-bendy, performance-arty, cabaret-inspired, queer-based theatre pieces from Washington, D.C. to Seattle to New York and, of course, Chicago. Their first breakout hit was Carpenters Halloween, a twisted, camped-up musical tribute to John Carpenter’s original horror classic augmented by the naive song stylings of Karen and Richard Carpenter (natch). A series of variety shows and “fusion pieces” followed after that, featuring local talents and Scooty and Jojo’s special brand of off-kilter entertainment.
However, the über-creative power duo are experiencing their biggest hit so far with Alien Queen: The Concert — a rock concert performance piece that combines the iconic “Alien” movies with the fabulous music of Queen. How did such an idea come about? “It all started when a pal suggested we develop a musical based on the ‘Alien’ movies,” says Scooty. And much like the embroyo alien that bursts forth from John Hurt’s belly in the first movie, the idea germinated and exploded within Scooty as he was driving down the road listening to one of his many Queen albums.
“I’ve always loved the music of Queen, and that day it just hit me,” recalls Bradley. “Their music fits the movies so perfectly — its driving beat, its energy, its over-the-topness. And I immediatley ran home and started working on the project.”
In addition, the 1979 blockbuster, as we all recall, starred the kick-ass Sigourney Weaver, which was mold-breaking at the time for a major Hollywood action movie to feature a strong female lead. This provided ample opportunity for Scooty and Jojo to ply their gender-bendy sensibilities while commenting on the notion of gender vs. power — their favorite topic.
A year and a half after that fateful car trip, the pair assembled a raw rock opera version of the piece, which premiered at Circuit nightclub to enthusiastic success. After a few more performances at Circuit, Metro owner and founder Joe Shanahan saw the piece and asked Scooty and Jojo to develop a concert version for the venue. And now, five Metro appearances later, the show has gained a strong cult following (“We easily have more than 100 returning viewers each time — and they bring friends,” says Scooty) and is getting ready to premiere a special holiday concert version of the piece on December 10 at Metro (tickets here).
This time, as they’ve done with great success the past few Metro performances, they’ve teamed up with performance artist Jyldo, comedienne Cameron Esposito and DJ BoyWonder to open the evening with a variety hour entitled, “Battlestar Fantastica,” a “terrifyingly sexy sci-fi variety hour featuring burlesque & performance artists from across the galaxy.”
“Each time the mix of performances is completely different, and it’s always a surprise who Jyldo and company round up,” says Scooty. “But I promise you it will be amazing — audiences always love it.”
Check out the show on December 10 at Metro for yourself and see what all the fuss is about.
And what’s next for this fabulously gay duo? A wedding, of course! But Scooty and Jojo won’t settle for a simple, quiet ceremony. In fact, you’re invited! On February 14, they will debut — for one night only! — A Carpenter’s Civil Union Ball, featuring a full rock band and a true-blue civil union between Scooty and Jojo. Naturally, the event will be presided over by Dr. Loomis himself — in doll form. Time and venue are TBA, so check their site for info in the near future.