the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11

Monthly Archives: May, 2010


Well, it was bound to happen one of these days…the Secret City comes to LA. OR, back to LA, since it was an idea that was born in LA…it seems only fitting that it should be shared with the glorious Angelenos. So, we’re having a party for The Obie Award Winning Secret City. Thursday, May 27th at the Bootleg Theatre. Live Music! Special Guests! Wonderful people! Beautiful communion!
And, I’m going to tell the story about a middle aged, gay, pagan, somewhat radical actor/performer who gave up acting and started a secular church for artists.

a party to benefit the secret city
Thursday, May 27th
The Bootleg Theatre
2220 Beverly Boulevard
proceeds benefit the secret city

We’re Connected.




Wowie Kazowie! We had a huge BOFFO service on Sunday! Packed to the rafters and filled with JOY! JOY! JOY! Hot on the heels of our Obie Award, we had an amazing mix of beautiful regulars and lively and enthusiastic newcomers. So much gratitude and loving support in the room, and a lot really amazing art and artists. The Secret City is ON FIRE!!

Above is one of Charles Lahti’s silkscreens, they were the featured visual art for the day.

Below is the amazing ‘altar-cloth’ made by John Devaney, on the theme of MEMORY.


Here’s a sweet group of folks, chatting during the Mingling Ritual.

Here”s the adorable Mike Dunn, he’s in town doing Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at the Public, and he did our food offering this month.

He made asparagus with a tangerine sauce. MMMMMM tasty. His pink shirt and pedal pushers are pretty tasty, too…

Here’s our own Matt Maher, giving an interactive performance on the elusive nature of memory and story…

This is Jonny Rodgers, preparing his wine glasses. Jonny played a song for us, Swung on a Swing, using guitar, wine glasses with water, mixer and his beautiful ethereal voice.

Here’s the enchanting Taylor Mac, who performed an amazing deconstructed version of MEMORY, from CATS….on the ukulele.

SWEET SARAH! in front of one of Charles’ silkscreens. Yummy Yellow!

Look at all those happy, beautiful, creative people!! Such an incredible community.

I ADORE these two men. Matt Maher and Greg Walloch.

Dru and Steve and their pal.

The incredible, witty and charming Charlotte Booker. She read from Joan Collins’ autobiography, Past Imperfect…(it was joan’s birthday on the 23rd…what?)

Deanna, Genevieve and Erik. Genevieve baked madeleines for the refreshment hour — in honor of PROUST!!

Beautiful ladies of the Secret City. And here’s the wonderful Charles Lahti himself…

and here’s a super-cute shot of taylor and patrick.

Tom Hart and Rachel Coloff — Rachel is doing our flower installations for the altar nowadays, and Tom helped her out this month. Thanks to both of them for making something beautiful. And Tom’s going to design some new Tshirts for us!

Here’s the altar/installation…love those lavender/grey roses…and the clock…memory.

So, it was incredible. So much love and joy. And the continuing creation of this piece of collaborative art that is unfolding in profound and beautiful ways. At one point in the early part of the service, where i say, “We are lovers of beauty, and beauty is everywhere present…” i looked up and into this room packed full of beauty and people who make the world more beautiful and i realized how true this is. And the Secret City is a reflection of this community’s desire to make the world a more beautiful, meaningful, radical and creative place. And this is only the beginning…





Hot on the heels of our amazing OBIE AWARD!! (see my post below…) this Sunday’s service promises to be a lively and fabulous event. We have an incredible group of guest artists coming to do their special thangs…

  • Taylor Mac (my Obie brother/sister) will sing and play the ukulele for us
  • The eternally lovely Charlotte Booker will read to us from one of her best loved Celebrity Autobiographies
  • Michael Dunn (who’s part of the hot hot hot cast of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) will provide the food offering
  • Charles Lahti will share some of his silkscreens from his new minted company, Charles Lahti Prints 
  • The incredible Jonny Rodgers will perform music with water glasses and guitars
  • The charming Kelly Coffield will read the Cultural Calendar for us.

And, we’ll be blessed to have Leah Coloff, Sarah Alden and Jeremy Bass playing music for us, as well as usual juicy features. It’s going to be a big, fat gorgeous day. Come see.

Secret City
Sunday, May 23rd, 11:30 a.m.
TheatreLab 137 W. 14th St



On Monday, May 17th, Chris Wells (me) and The Secret City won and OBIE AWARD! So incredible…an amazing, surprising and wonderful honor. Had absoLUTEly no idea, and well, maybe that was for the best.

Can’t believe that after only two and a half short years we would get this kind of recognition and validation, and it’s a huge game changer for our organization, as we build our board and fundraise and work to make the foundation strong so that our monthly services can continue to thrive, and our community can continue to flourish and grow. And to be able to continue to provide the place for all creative people to come and reconnect, reinvest and restore themselves and their purpose. It’s such a beautiful thing to be a part of, and I’m truly grateful.

Thanks to everyone who is a part of this great adventure, and to the Obie committee for their wonderful support, and for the community of dedicated and gorgeous people who make the Secret City the incredible and vital and NECESSARY thing that it is.



In the end, it was all WORTH it…

Another amazing gathering last month…WORTH was the theme, and it proved to strike a chord with the community. We had an extraordinary line up of folks and a packed house. A new space is really crucial…we will be in our beloved White Cloud probably until the end of the season.

Rachel Coloff is now doing our floral installations for the altar. This was the first one…who knows where it will go, and how it will, er, blossom! Here’s our newest Secret City Board Member, the AMAZING Rosanne Cash:

That’s Leah Coloff up top, playing her cello for us, performing one of her fabulous songs for us. Here are some other pics from the service:

Jamie’s linen jacket is stunning, right? Here’s one of Martyn Thompson’s photographs — he was the featured artist for the month, and his gorgeous photographic prints were really powerful, mixing the high and the low in a beautiful way. Good discussion about them, too.

Here are Emma and Mark and Simon — they are about to enjoy the taste from the service. it was a mocktail made by Herb Westphalen…super yummy. I love this picture.

And here’s Herb now! Herb’s a mixologist and a baker extraordinaire.

Okay, this was amazing…we played a game in the service, called What’s It Worth to You…there were about twelve questions/challenges to show what an amazing community we have, and what we know and care about and VALUE! Everything from, ‘name ten American poets’, to ‘name at least three of the stories on Salinger’s 9 stories,’ to ‘who will perform a soft shoe for us?’ to ‘who will sing sixteen bars of a showtune…?” And, here we have Michael Dunn, from LA, who’s currently in town performing in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at the Public…show here delivering a Shakespeare monolog…it was THRILLING!! Everyone got a dollar for participating.

Here are Leah and Caitlin. Seriously.

Here’s Martyn Thompson, our featured visual artist for the day.

David Albiero in his spiffy new Secret City t shirt!

Sxip and Rebekkah. Sxip’s going to be our musical guest at the end of June.

Lucy and Sarah.

It was another beautiful day at the Secret City. What an incredible thing, this community of people. So special and smart and soulful. And amazing to watch it grow. Blessings.