The room is dark and filled with smoke from fine cigarettes and cigars. In the front of the room is a small lone stage. The fan rattles and clicks from behind the bar as the clinking of bottles being dropped into their holders sends a high pitch ring throughout the crammed room. The back drop for the stage is warm shades of gold and tan as black lines create texture on it that looks like entangled feathers. On the right side of the stage a sign reads “Flapper Club” which is plastered to the backdrop. There is a lone spotlight shining on the stage illuminating the silhouettes of three performers. The atmosphere in the room is mellow and laid back although there is still a hint of sophistication from the smell of booze and the lazy smoke rings lingering in the air. The performers on the stage consist of two men and a woman singer. The men sit in a half circle to the woman’s left slightly behind her. The one closest to the audience wears a red shirt with a black vest while he plays a light tan acoustic guitar. The guitarist plays with a pick giving the music a bold plucking sound while he sings back up vocals. Meanwhile the drummer sits hunched over his shiny silver drum set as he rocks with the beat and keeps time on the symbol. He wears a cheap black suit matched with a silky white tie and a hat to finish the look. The singer, although pretty, looks tired and worn probably from performing the same songs almost every night of the week. The small dress she wears shimmers in the spot light while the fluffy red boa around her neck sways back and forth as she dances to the song. Her hair is cut in an inexpensive bob that doesn’t quite look right on her round face. The stockings she wears are black but sheer as they top off the costume. Her voice comes out rich and evocative but sometimes sounds airy like a hiss when she holds a note too long. She glances down at the lyrics in front of her, even though she knows the performance front and back. It’s obvious she would rather be some place else. The flapper flashes a nervous smile as she awkwardly snaps her fingers in an attempt at keeping the beat while every now and then quickly glancing down at her feet, monitoring her steps as if the movements are out of her control. All of this though, happens to be unnoticed by the audience. The people haven’t come here to watch them perform, instead the women sit in their chairs sipping stale red wine as the men inhale and exhale from their pipes wallowing in the misery of a hard days work. A new age is dawning bringing with it new technology, the rise of communism, and a second world war. By the end of the night the sophistication has left and all that remains is the raw disparity of a dying era.
February 29, 2008