Luna Tart Died at Joe’s Pub & Took Me Down with Her!

Luna TartLuna Tart at Joe’s Pub May 18, 2009

Pathos. Fragility. Drama. The absurd.

… Sung by the kind of slightly aging woman you’d pity, drunk, at the end of the bar.

Draped in a bright yellow boa, paired absurdly with a ukulele – this broad’s got a sardonic sense and a surprisingly beautiful voice. She’s so damn depressing, it’s funny – like when you cry so hard you start laughing, or vice versa.

Luna Tart – a Bernadette Peters look-a-like – with an equally on-target sense of timing, is the alter ego of Laura Freeman, who wobbled on stage at Joe’s Pub tonight, in a semi-drunken stupor. Deceptively faltering, yet always in charge of her phrasing, Luna left me hanging on every word. Whether quivering her poetic lyrics, or singing in shockingly high full voice, she imbued her story-songs with heartbreak and longing. Luna’s “I’ve Forgotten You,” an imagistic piece sung by a woman struggling to remember even a fragment of her lost love, was simply devastating. When she eeked out the final question “Did we dance … did we … dance?”… In the silence that followed, I felt a tangible unity with the rest of the audience – a kind of group mourning, a shared sensibility of personal loss and grief.

For some odd reason, I kept imagining a TV show where Luna gets into all kinds of hopeful, sad and bizarre romantic situations, punctuated by the songs on her “Luna Tart died” CD … the plotlines are all there: Luna remembers her sad childhood as her mother sings a lullaby, Luna gets jilted, joins the circus, becomes a prostitute, lives the highlife, gets jilted, gets jilted, gets jilted … time and time again … as she reflects on it all from a barstool in a dark and seedy joint.

I advise you to check out Luna out at her next gig. If you’re a TV producer, at least give her a screen test for a pilot. Whoever you are, while sitting, listening in the dark – you won’t feel alone in your anguish – and you’ll probably find the strength to laugh at your relative good fortune.

Many thanks to Tsar Stefan for bringing her to Joe’s! Follow me, Judith Z. Miller, on Twitter


About artistsoulspeaks

Judith Z. Miller, aka "Zelda," lives in an erotic, musical, spiritual universe; she writes as a way of coping with its beauty, sensuality, frustrations and ecstasies. In NYC, she has read at events sponsored by organizations such as Nehirim, Zeek Magazine, Essentuality, and at venues such as Blue Stockings, The Jewish Community Center, Wow Café Theatre - and late at night to her girlfriends in bed. She published in Inside Arts magazine, The Washington Post, and American Theatre magazine. Judith was trained as an actress in Washington DC, co-founded The Fine Line Actors Theatre, acted in numerous productions, created original performance material and was awarded an NEA Arts Management Fellowship in Theatre. Judith is a self-trained visual artist who is inspired by the beauty of nature and the guiding force of her intuition. She draws and creates primal sculpture and wearable art from trees, stones and found objects, which she fashions into ritual staffs, wearable amulets, and employs in healing rituals. She was profiled in The Daily News; the subject of feature articles in Mann About Town magazine, Home News Tribune, In Brooklyn, The Park Slope Paper, The Wave, and The Daily Sitka Sentinel, and featured on NY-1 Television. In 2008 her paper “Sometimes a Tree Isn’t Just a Tree,” was read at the First International LSP-and Translation Studies Oriented Textual Analysis conference at Chouaib Doukkali University, El Jadida, Morocco. Judith was the founder and director of ZAMO! representing a multi-cultural mix of world-class GRAMMY® nominated and JUNO ® award-winning performing artists for over 20 years. She taught self-promotion for performers, presented by organizations such as The Field, The Red Tent Women’s Project and the Brooklyn Arts Counsel. She was the Chief Rhythm officer of Microfundo, a crowdfunding platform supporting musicians worldwide. She was a 2011 British Airways Face-to-Face Opportunity contest winner traveling to Thailand where she met with indigenous woodcarvers and shaman. A healing ritual artist, she created Zelda's Body Breathing Healing System (TM), and offers private sessions and workshops. Judith (Zelda) resides in Port Henry New York.
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