'Code Pink' at the Baxter Theatre
by Lauren Shantall
Was I tickled pink by the recent 'Code Pink' dress up and prance party? I'll admit to the faintest blush, but no more. Sibling rival event to colour-coded forerunner 'White Mischief', 'Code Pink' took place at the Baxter Concert Hall on Saturday September 15. Kicking off from about 10pm, the multidisciplinary melange stretched on until its stylish, theme-clad patrons tottered off to non-pink pastures, abandoning their goblets of complimentary JC le Roux plonk (disguised, in an ambitious marketing costume, as this season's party wine).
If you're unfamiliar with the Suzy Bell-branded events that have migrated from Durban to Cape Town along with their namesake organiser and host, then imagine a formula in which the gewone jol has been given cultural pretensions, tacked on for the extra viewing pleasure of the young and the nest-less. Or vice versa. Or something.
'White Mischief' and 'Code Pink' have followed the 'Red Eye' precedent, and recklessly blended fashion shows, street style, dancefloor moves and contemporary art forms with a trend-monitoring eye that neglects cohesion. It's a coming together lubricated by all the sponsored bubbly. Meant to divert us from our boredom, satiate our creative cravings AND entertain, these events often, miraculously, achieve precisely that. But they also thrive on the level of the trite. It's a little bit of everything but not very much of anything, unfortunately. F-U-N supersedes serious contemplation and any works must meet the context or be neglected.
Moreover, in this inner-city version of the burlesque Renaissance carnival, the revellers usually outshine the performers and cultural practitioners. Take a furry pink pussy stroking a Roman in a magenta toga, both cheekily occupying the mattress of a Barbie-inspired bedroom installation, for instance.
Yet far more interesting than the events themselves has been Suzy Bell's chameleon-like ability to successfully segue from journalist into party organiser, and spotlight-grabbing "eccentric" media personality. Now that's the kind of transformation that would convince even an Orlan to turn herself into a fuchsia flamingo and flap about to the deep house strains of DJ Erefaan - or whatever the tunes and tone of the moment might be.
Saturday September 15 from 10pm
Baxter Theatre, Main Road, Rondebosch
Tel: 082 897 8256 (Suzy Bell)