The cast of ROMA! (from left): Veracity Butcher, Robert Smith, Jonathan Stahl, Juan Ayala, Jamie Clayton, percussionist Stephanie Jalove, keyboardist Flutura Bardhi, bassist Kayci Rothweiler, Audrey Kovar and guitarist Parker Shipp. In the foreground wearing the sexiest white suit since "Saturday Night Fever" is singer Kenyon Phillips. (Photo: Christa Titus)
What do you get when you enact a banned poem with lingerie-clad musicians, adult-themed lyrics, convincing actors, weaponry and art rock? ROMA!, a troupe that carries off its cabaret act with a knowing wink and the unstoppable chutzpah of ringleader Kenyon Phillips, the group's singer and manager.
During its gig at Joe's Pub in New York on March 3 ROMA! threw "The Wild Party," performing its album based on the epic 1920's Joseph Moncure March poem that was banned for its salacious content. Included in the troupe is actress Jamie Clayton of HBO series "Hung," and she infuses her boozy character with an authenticity that echoes Sharon Stone's Oscar-nominated turn in "Casino."
Meet the Roma! Kenyon Phillips, keyboardist Flutura Bardhi, bassist Kayci Rothweiler, percussionist, Stephanie Jalove, guitarist Parker Shipp and actress Jamie Clayton. (Photo: Nadia Itani)
The group has also caught the attention of actor Chaske Spencer (aka wolf pack leader Sam Uley in the "Twilight" movies), who recently indulged his love of photography by doing a photo shoot of the act.
ROMA! is hosting its next wild party on April 3 at W.i.P., a Manhattan nightspot fashioned after Andy Warhol's Factory, and is providing music for "Werk!: The Armitage Gone Variety Show" from May 2-5 at Abrons Arts Center. Jazz-age tragedy was never so entertaining as watching Phillips animatedly narrate the proceedings-and gyrate with his pants about to drop at any second.
All smiles post-performance backstage at Joe's Pub are (from left) Monolith PR founder Leo Lavoro, ROMA! singer Kenyon Phillips, actress Jamie Clayton and Monolith PR intern Dan Russonillo. (Photo: Christa Titus)