“And what Simaetha gets precisely right is its most potent, thematic refrain: that a man as a savior is the greatest myth, the most foolish fantasy of all… Dialogue, poetry, cover song, choreography, and original score are woven together in a dynamic method of storytelling—and it’s worth noting that Budenz’s words and voice both ring, in intervals, with beauty and terror. These shifting modalities allow for not only surprise but for tragicomedy to emerge. In a show that deals with systemic abuse, gender inequality, femme discrimination, slut shaming, and ageism, deadpan humor and comedic juxtaposition manage to make enough room for laughter.”—Laurence Ross on SIMAETHA: a Dreambaby Cabaret
Dreambaby is the name of my solo cabaret act. My signature “witch cabaret” style combines ritual, poetry, and mystical meditations with piano and vocal performance. Birthed at the 2013 Transmodern Festival, this act has been featured all over Baltimore—in venues such as The Yellow Sign Theater, The Creative Alliance, The Holy Underground, The EMP Collective, Terault Contemporary, and more—as well as The Black Cat (DC), The Manhattan Inn (NYC), Cafe Istanbul (New Orleans), The Americana Burlesque and Sideshow Festival (Asheville), and La Xata La Rifa (Spain). It has found a home not only in variety shows or cabarets, but also in experimental performance venues, theaters, and traditional music venues.
In 2017, I debuted my original solo show, SIMAETHA: a Dreambaby Cabaret to sold-out houses at the Psychic/Annex space, and in January 2020 I revamped the show as a collaborative performance at the historic Carroll Mansion in downtown Baltimore thanks to the generosity of the Baker Innovative Projects Grant. Since launching SIMAETHA in 2017, as Dreambaby I have also produced several eclectic cabarets meditating on topics like royalty, divinity, moon cycles, nostalgia, and Beltane featuring local artists (including Alex D’Agostino, Amorous Ebony, Talbolt Johnson, Christine Ferrera, and more) as well as artists from across the US (including Handsome Jeremy, OLGA, Precious Ephemera, and moon baby).
“The Witch’s Lover,” recorded in 2020 for the Simaetha soundtrack:
Dreambaby as The Wicked Witch of the West for the DC Weirdo Show, 2017:
At the start of 2017, The Baltimore Annex Theater produced my experimental 60-minute solo play, SIMAETHA: A Dreambaby Cabaret to consistently sold-out audiences.
Excerpt: “Family Ghost” from the 2017 production of SIMAETHA: A Dreambaby Cabaret:
Promo for “NOSTOS: a Dreambaby Cabaret,” hosted at The Peale Center:
Selected Photos & Ephemera