A modern multimedia musical by C.M. Soto
“BRAVE, RAW, AND RIVETING!”
Ice Scream Theater is a traumatic true story written and performed by C.M. Soto as Vinylux, in rock and roll picture show fashion. This tumultuous tale of addiction and redemption unfolds through dark comedy, journal entries, and poetry—creating a chilling narrative. Projected video and performance art imagery assault the senses, illuminating Vinylux’s journey from being an addict’s child to becoming an addict, then mother, herself. Burlesque-influenced dance, and avant-garde ballads are set to an original score by UFO Death Cult, punctuating the surround-sound experience of Ice Scream Theater.
If you like Pink Floyd’s, The Wall or Tom Waits’, “What’s he Building in There?,” you’ll love Ice Scream Theater.
Desiring her addicted mother’s attention, 13-year-old Vinylux plunges headlong into the 80’s drug scene. She retreats into her imagination. It is here that her drug house takes on a life of its own. Her dolls become syringes, her blankets gauze. Her world is abstract and unsafe. Buckling under the pressure of being a surrogate mother to her siblings and overstimulated by the adult world of drug addiction, she abandons her mother’s house. She moves in with her grandparents. It is there that she begins her re-education. She excels in college, but her mother’s downward spiral leaves her restless. Just when it seems she’s escaped, she finds herself back in her hometown, pregnant, in an abusive relationship, and caring for her pre-teen sister. Taking a chance, she returns to college alone and pregnant. She follows her schooling to New Orleans to study the arts. Motherhood opens the wounds of a wronged child, straining her relationships. In New Orleans she is forced to face her demons. Soto finds therapy in artistry. She plays in bands, her poems get published, and her plays get productions. She begins to accept the pressure and expectation associated with being a driven woman and mother, without being a martyr. With her mother’s advancing Hepatitis C, Vinylux is forced to complete the circle from her own birth to her mother’s death. She must release childhood hurts from her heart to truly embrace her son’s childhood.
Ice Scream Theater is a survivor’s story told by a daughter who loved her mother more than her mother loved herself—a daughter still stumbling towards self-love.
Ice Scream Theater is a rocking cacophony of music-box dirges, haunting instrumentals, and original songs by Vinylux that were reimagined by electro-acoustic artist, UFO Death Cult for the production.
“Ice Scream Theater”
CD of 5 songs, 1 poem, and 1 bonus track available for purchase. Listen at https://soundcloud.com/c-m-soto
50 original images and mini-films provide textural ambiance to the play.
The short film, “Rooms” starring Gwynneth Stier was filmed, narrated, and edited by Soto.
Original props created by Soto.
Ice Scream Man Mask – A mask with its “eyes scribbled out” to represent secrecy and fear experienced by a child living with a drug addicted parent
Bird Cage Skirt – A floor-length metal bird-cage skirt used during the song, Luna to symbolize emotional incarceration (prop building assistant: Mike Goetz and Luke Crowther)
Dollhouse Podium – Representative of the drug house of Vinylux’s youth with a podium used for poems, Easy, Keeper of the Lops, and Storage
Starved Puberty Wind-Up Belt – A belt with a working minute and hour hand and a wind-up key used to portray the danger of a developing girl in a drug house
Timeline Boxes – Boxes used to compartmentalize the years that Vinylux and her mother shared
Record Wings – Wings made of vinyl records for the closing song, Bonecho to represent the musical education Vinylux got from her mother
Textbook Fans – Symbolic of the college years that provided Vinylux her earliest wings. These fans hold over 100 individually cut feathers fixed to 78 records
C.M. SOTO (Vinylux) is a New Orleans-based writer. She has been performing original electronic-based music as Vinylux since 2004 and is additionally a photographer, Videographer, and graphic designer.
UFO DEATH CULT is the electro-acoustic project of New Orleans-based Benjamin Strange. Ben is the co-owner of Strange Guitarworks.
MIKE GOETZ is a New Orleans-based video editor, videographer, photographer, and lead singer for the bands, Bronze Comet and Vuzz
- Marigny Opera House June 30 & July 1, 2017 – Full Production
- Botanical Gardens October 8, 2016 – Performance art/music in the birdcage skirt
- Mudlark Theater July 29,30,31, 2016 – Full Production
- Maple Leaf Poetry Series May 29, 2016 – Poetry and music only
- Tulane University Lavin-Bernick Center February 27, 2016 – Poetry and music
- Fringe Festival November 20, 22, 23, 24, 2013 – Full Production starring Nicole Lovince