Brite Winter Festival is an annual outdoor 1-day festival held in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. Brite Winter 2015 will be held on February 21, 2015 and boasts over 60 musicians and bands from around Cleveland and other regions who will be playing on nine stages throughout Ohio City and the W. 25th Street area. Over the next five days, Midwest Action will be presenting an artist/band a day who we think you should definitely check out, should you want to brave the elements and rock out to this truly unique music festival.
Miss Alexandra Huntingdon (real name Megan Elk) has been heating up Cleveland nightclubs with her sultry voice, music writing talent and vintage flair. With a background in opera and musical theatre, the Rust Belt Glamour Queen brings a unique energy to the Cleveland music scene by combining performance with a little bit of panache. Midwest Action was able to catch up with Miss Alexandra Huntingdon to give you a little taste of what to expect from her and her band, The Gentleman’s Intermission.
You can catch Miss Alexandra Huntingdon live on February 21, 2015 on the Ohio City Inc. Stage at Old Angle Tavern from 8:30 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.
1. Describe your music in 5 words.
Ballsy, Loud, Forthright, Slapstick, Radical
2. What has been your greatest influence to date, and how do you use it to drive your performance and music?
I think there are a lot of styles that influence my sound, namely Jazz, Blues, Gospel and Musical Theatre. My greatest influence in creating this project probably hasn’t occurred in a specifically musical sense, though. The time I spent seriously studying avant-garde performance has left me in constant pursuit of this thing theatre directors call “Total Act.” Essentially, the performer’s goal must be to cultivate such an intensely honest rapport with the audience that she is not so much “putting on a character,” as she is revealing of her authentic self. I want to give nothing but real love and gratitude to my audience, in hopes that we may all experience a cathartic reckoning of one another.
3. With your recently released live album, what do you hope to achieve in 2015 musically?
First, I want people to listen to the album. Like, really listen, because the stories I’m telling are true and important for a lot of us, I feel. Next, I’m excited to be playing some bigger shows in the Cleveland area like April Fool’s Day at the Music Box Supper Club and doing a bit of traveling as well. I’ve got this really interesting collaboration with MegLouise Dance and The Chicago Cultural Center happening in May. There’ll most likely be some songs from “Live at Survival Kit” included in the performance, but I’m writing a lot of new material for it as well. I’m looking forward to recording these new tunes, but I’m mostly excited about continuing to find new performative context for the work.
4. How do you pick out your outfits and where do you find your outfits?
Much like my music, I’m really inspired by a variety of silhouettes from the 50’s and 60’s, the more glamorous the better. I have a few incredible, authentic vintage gowns that I love, which I found at Chelsea’s. Usually, I just take the most fabulous thing I can find at the thrift store and alter it to suit whatever the occasion of the show may be. Though I’ll admit, for my album release show I splurged and rented this amazing Badgley Mischka gown from New York. It was a dime-store diva’s couture dream come true.
5. What can Cleveland expect and look forward to from you at Brite Winter? (New songs, old songs, special guests, a lot of pizzazz, etc.)
If all goes well this week, there just might be a new song premiering at Brite Winter! The real excitement of the set will be that my band, The Gentleman’s Intermission, will welcome a brand new member to the stage that evening. I just can’t say enough good things about this young blues guitar phenom, Gavin Coe. He really brings such a sexy new sound to the mix. The Gentleman’s Intermission is a rotating cast of some of the finest jazz, blues and rock musicians around. Rounding out that band that evening will be Anthony Slusser, keys, Charlie Trenta, bass, and Neil Chastain on the drums.
Bonus Question! Just where did your name come from?
Well, the Miss part is because I’m a single girl (and a proper lady). The name Alexandra Huntingdon comes from that old game where you find your movie star name by using your middle name and the name of the town where you grew up. Bonus answer: The name “The Gentleman’s Intermission” comes from an episode of 30 Rock in which Liz Lemon’s dad comes to visit her in the city and declares that he and her mother are on a break or as he calls is, a “gentleman’s intermission.”
If you like what you’ve read, you can download her album at a name your own price fee. Don’t forget to check Miss Alexandra Huntingdon & the Gentleman’s Intermission Saturday, February 21 starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Old Angle Tavern.