Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images The sad news came across late Wednesday afternoon…
- Posted on Jun 10th 2010 11:00AM by David Chiu
As previously reported by Spinner, the Evelyn Evelyn project was initially met with controversy, as some of Palmer's fans were critical that the concept was possibly insensitive to people with disabilities. Palmer apologized to those who might have been offended, writing on her blog, "Our intention was not to piss people off, make fun of, or belittle anybody. That is not our style."
The evening at the Lucille Lortel Theater began with Palmer and Webley playing behind a keyboard and opening their set with the aching autobiographical song, 'Evelyn Evelyn.' In keeping with the act of being conjoined sisters, Palmer used her right hand to hit the keys while Webley played with his left. It was followed by the ragtime-like stomp of 'Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn?'
Afterward, a master-of-ceremonies/Svengali-type (played by musician Sxip Shirey) emerged onto the stage and asked two audience members to come up and hold a white screen against a light. As the duo performed the haunting 'The Tragic Events of September -- Part One,' shadow puppets reenacted the twins' life story behind the screen. Palmer and Webley made was it clear throughout the show that their characters were uncomfortable being in the spotlight through their facial expressions and sometimes-awkward movements.
The humorous moment of the evening happened during a segment in which Palmer and Webley fielded random fan questions. In character, they answered the questions by supplying one word at a time, back and forth, to make a complete sentence. Some of the responses were so funny at times that Palmer slightly broke out of character and smiled.
Later, they performed the quirky 'Elephant, Elephant' on accordion and kazoo then returned to the keyboard to deliver a soulful version of Bill Withers' classic 'Lean on Me.' The highlight was 'My Space,' a musical-sounding homage to cheesy stadium rock. The set ended with a rendition of Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' performed on a ukulele, with a third hand coming out of the twins' dress to hold the instrument.
Evelyn Evelyn will continue to perform as Palmer and Webley's "opening act" through June 19 with dates in Washington, Philadelphia and Boston.