Find of the Day: Patti Smith in Jackie Curtis’s “Femme Fatale”


Flyer for “Femme Fatale” (1970) [OBJ.1970.0086]

Here in the La MaMa archives, you never know what might pop out at the end of the day and surprise you. Today it was Patti Smith’s name in the cast list of the 1970 production “Femme Fatale: The Three Faces of Gloria.” Described in the flyer to the left as “A Religious Entertainment,” the show was created by Jackie Curtis, a drag artist who first performed in Tom Eyen’s “Miss Nefertiti Regrets” at La MaMa in 1965. The show combined familiar religious and movie scenes with “bizarre contemporary situations,” according to the rave review published in the newspaper Show Business by Frank Lee Wilde. Smith, of course, later went on to pen the controversial lyrics “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine” in her cover of Van Morrison’s song “Gloria.” Could there be a connection between these Glorias?

In this six-minute clip of the production, Jackie and Patti can be seen in a chaotic scene leading up to the song “Kissing Asses for the Man I Love.”

–Suzanne Lipkin