John Fleck’s Blessed Are All the Little Snowballs in Hell frankensteins together his infamously defunded work Blessed Are All the Little Fishes (1989) and its follow-up A Snowball’s Chance in Hell (1992) into a virtuosic new work for 2013, with an eye towards a New York City premiere later this year. Snowball was Fleck’s response to the experience of being thrust into the spotlight of controversy as a result of the defunding ofFishes by the NEA. Fascinatingly, neither of these works has ever been performed in New York City.
Blessed Are All the Little Fishes reveals Fleck’s attempts to grapple with the two biggest factors in his childhood: alcoholism and Catholicism. “It’s the story of this man’s binge, which is also society’s binge—man at his lowest point of alienation,” says Fleck, who, in the course of the show, dresses as a mermaid, urinates on stage, hacks up a dead goldfish, talks about bisexuality, and makes a toilet bowl into an altar by pasting a photo of Christ onto the lid. For his drunken character, Fleck says that the toilet is “the center of the universe, a place of miraculous visitation.”
Part Beckettian nightmare, part channel-surfing mindfuck, A Snowball’s Chance in Hellhumorously/feverishly addresses the existential horror of trying to sustain oneself on mediated realities while lamenting the impossibility of ever being able to escape such mediation. The work eerily foreshadows today’s anxieties around the death of privacy (e.g., social media, smart phones, airport security, internet shopping, etc.).
Presented in conjunction with “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.”