Q&A with Leslie Ball

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January 12, 2004 // UPDATED 2:30 pm - April 24, 2007
By: sue rich
sue rich

Every Saturday at midnight, Leslie Ball hosts the experimental BALLS Cabaret at the Southern Theatre, 1420 Washington Ave. S. After the 70-90 minute $5 show, audience and artists gather in the foyer to discuss the show and indulge in sweet treats.

You've been doing this for 13 years. What can people expect with an "experimental" show?

Anything -- I really don't know what's going to happen week-to-week.

I always say at the beginning of each show: "Nothing here is ever screened or censored, and chances are someone will be offended -- it might even be me, but that is the nature of the beast. Each act is 5-7 minutes, so just hang on and see what comes next."

What recent performance caught you by surprise?

A young woman had gone in for what she thought was going to be a simple surgical procedure. However, when she came to she learned that they had removed an organ.

She told the story in this lovely, wistful way -- and she wrote a song to her ovary. A puppeteer came out of the darkness with a little ovary puppet and they sang a duet.

It probably sounds less than appealing, or nutty, but the entire audience -- intergenerational, male, female, everybody -- was so touched and moved . . .. She was amazing -- it was very touching and very funny. You really had to be there.

You've worked with The Guthrie Lab, 700 N. 1st St., and other local venues, how does BALLS fit in?

It occupies a profoundly important spot in the food chain . . .. It's a place where artists take risks, even come out of the closet. And we have little neophyte teenagers who performed here who are now in Los Angeles or New York and doing very well.

For more information, or to sign up to perform, call 340-0155 Ext. 25.