Pin-Up "Jasmine" by Baron von Lind
So here's the story. Several years ago I began writing original music (with Greg, my honey and my composer) and an outline for a project inspired by a coffee table book I had acquired called, The Great American Pin-Up (Taschen, Martignette & Meisel). I was so mesmerized by that book and the decades of beautiful art that had been created by real painters who were uber-talented and every bit fine artists. These luminous portraits were used for a variety of advertisements and other pop-culture and pulp-fiction purposes. I'm sure I don't know why, but every time I would look at these gorgeous pieces, I would think: What if that girl came to life? What would her story be?
And as I ruminated on that subject, a thousand images of my mad lifelong passion for musical theatre began to resurface - after quite a few years of not performing and being merely an audience member. And since we can trace the origins of Alberto Vargas' humble beginnings directly to his work painting the Ziegfeld Follies girls for the posters in the New Amsterdam Theater lobby, the need for this story to be a musical was carved in stone. Then, I began to study all the pin-up books I could get my hands on - and I can assure you that I am quite the pin-up librarian these days!
As I studied, a wonderful truth came into clear view: Those women were real women - live models for the artists - who lived fascinating and often scandalous lives. They had the brevity not only to pose with little or no clothes but quite often they had romantic relationships with the artists who immortalized them. Their stories are firmly rooted in the lore of our American theatrical and entertainment culture - from the richness of the burlesque to the Greenwich and Ziegfeld Follies, to the Golden Age of Hollywood and yes, even Playboy.
Since I am a believer in the idea that truth is way more interesting than fiction - this is a story that weaves in the tales of actual people and events into the tapestry of a glorious musical trip through the time and space of Pin-Up Art in America. I hope you will join me in this endeavor as we share a work very much still in progress and we return to the wisdom of the Great Ziegfeld and begin to once again, "Glorify the American Girl"! And really, don't you think it's about time?? Viva La Pin-Up!!
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