Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Pig Parade: Phantom of the Slopera

Musical theater tenor of this swine

By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer


        This is 88th in a series spotlighting pigs from the Big Pig Gig Public Art Project in Cincinnati, Covington and Newport. Find past pig profiles at

        What's you're theatrical bag? The Broadway Series or the Playhouse in the Park? One thing the two theaters have in common is their pig creator, Lisa Molyneaux, 39, Pleasant Ridge. Ms. Molyneaux is in her ninth season with the Playhouse, for the last six years as the charge scenic artist. She is also a painter working on her first exhibition.

[photo] | ZOOM |
        Sponsor: Fifth Third Bank Broadway Series.

        This pig's pen: Sixth and Main streets, downtown.

        You were inspired by: As the scenic artist at the Playhouse in the Park I did their pig, Pigmalion. When the Broadway Series asked me to do their pig, I asked the Playhouse for permission. They said it was fine as long as their pig was better.

        What's the pig idea? The Broadway Series said I could do anything I wanted as long as it shouted Phantom of the Opera. I knew I had to include the mask, the cape and the staff with the pig skull, and I wanted a comic pig skull, not a real one. The real ones look like any animal.

        You want people to look at this pig and think: Of Broadway musical theater.

        Completing the project took: Six weeks for both pigs, working 50 to 60 hours a week.

        What's the matter?: I used so many different materials. I used spray “button” foam, let it expand and sculpted it when it was dry. The best find was a water-based alternative to fiberglass.

        Your high on the hog was: I was so used to having the pig around when I was working on it that I got used to it. But when we took it downtown and installed it, people were so thrilled with it that I decided it was pretty good.

        Pig peeve: That the actual fiberglass pig was so different from the two-dimensional drawing we were given to work with. I had to modify the pig a lot to make it fit my design.

        Best pig tale: We had to build a special base for this pig, so my husband, Steve Nelson, went down to Piatt Park to measure the standard base that was still there after that pig was stolen. While he was measuring the base, a mounted police officer kept riding around and watching his suspicious behavior.

        My favorite pork dish: Hickory smoked pork loin cooked on the barbecueat home.

        What artistic movement most affected the outcome of this pig? Musical theater.

        The materials cost: $600.

        Do you consider this art or porkography? This is the pork one.

        If your pig starred in a movie, who would you cast to play the role? Michael Crawford, of course. He's the original Phantom.


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Get to it
- Pig Parade: Phantom of the Slopera
Tristate A.M. Report