King is a performance art project centered on Michael Jackson, the seventh in a series in which Neal Medlyn embodies pop groups or stars, using their personas, biographies, artistic output and other related material culture as both source material and conceptual filters. Previous pieces have been built around Lionel Richie, Phil Collins, Prince, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and the Insane Clown Posse. King will culminate in an evening-length performance slated to premiere and run at The Kitchen in New York, with costuming by Larry Krone, large sculptural element by Fawn Kreiger, lighting design by Madeline Best and musical direction by Matt Ray. Concurrent with the performance, there will also be an exhibit of video, art pieces, ephemera and related work from all seven shows in the Pop Star Series in The Kitchen theater.
Neal Medlyn is a performance artist best known for his series of pop star-inspired performance pieces, presented in New York and on tour throughout the U.S. and Europe. Previous works in the series are Neal Medlyn’s Lionel Richie Opera (ArsNova), Coming in the Air Tonight (Galapagos Art Space), Unpronounceable Symbol (PS 122), …Her’s a Queen (Dance Theater Workshop), Brave New Girl (The Chocolate Factory) and Wicked Clown Love (The Kitchen). Along with the above venues, Medlyn’s work has been seen at the New Museum for Contemporary Art (The Neal Medlyn Experience Live, a faithful reenactment of a Beyoncè concert DVD), the Andy Warhol Museum, Joe’s Pub, the TBA Festival, the Fusebox Festival and Duckie (UK). He has collaborated with a wide range of other artists, including Karen Finley and Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys (Neal & Bridget Are F**king and Adam is Watching at Le Poisson Rouge), among others. Along with Kenny Mellman and Bridget Everett, Medlyn was a co-creator and co-host of Our Hit Parade, the popular monthly show at Joe’s Pub, which was named among the top cabaret shows in New York for three years. He is active in the dance community as a dancer and a Bessie Award-winning sound designer, working with artists Miguel Gutierrez, Adrienne Truscott and David Neumann, among others. He is also in the process of becoming a rapper named Champagne Jerry and his shows as Champagne Jerry have played at BAM and Joe’s Pub. He is also releasing music once a month via his website, www.champagnejerry.com.