Mobtown Murder Mystery

Fluid Movement Strikes Again

Film Noir has never been so wet

By Brooke Hall

Photos by Theresa Keil

Director Jobi “Dee Liteful” Zink, Becky “Big Mama Boom Boom” Coleman and other adorable cutie pies. (Send names to

For the past ten summers, the city of Baltimore has been home to a peculiar phenomenon that takes place in and around its public swimming pools. It could be described as an ever-changing, inclusive performance troupe that stages elaborate, offbeat water ballets or maybe even summer camp for creative types. Either way, when I was told the premise of this year’s show, it didn’t take much to persuade me to get involved. After being told Fluid Movement’s summer production was a comedic show based on film noir, I was sold. Several months later, after countless hours of practice in and out of the pool, Mobtown Murder Mystery debuted in Druid Park Pool to rave reviews. If you don’t believe me just look at my Facebook page, rave reviews all over the place.


Hilary “Isadore Closed” Christian, Barbara “Barbarita Moreno” Wilgus, Diana “Nextah Kinik” Gross, Brooke “Senorita Sticky Fingers” Hall, and Jane “Salsa Fresca” Shock-Osborn

It’s hot out there. The light blue water glimmers, tempting you from your chair. But for 4,000 audience members over the course of two weekends, it’s one of the most unique, albeit silliest, performances they’ll see this summer. Dangerous gangsters, sexy little sailor girls, hot Cuban salsa dancers and wild Samoans have dazzled those in attendance. It’s not often one has the opportunity to laugh openly at murder, deceit, and human sacrifices in the absence of politicians or lawyers, so enjoy it while you can. After the show, you can whip out your bathing suit and dive into the pool with the cast. Now that’s participatory theater.

Backstage at the Babalu Club

Fluid Movement co-founder, Valarie Perez-Schere and her love of film noir has helped bring this original script, written by Ted Alsedek, to a swimming pool near you. If you missed the shows last week, I highly recommend heading down to Patterson Park Pool this weekend to catch one of the last three shows.

Shows will be performed at 6 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday at Patterson Park Pool. Available online at  Don’t forget to wear (or bring) your suit and splash around after the show.


Tasha “Miranda Rights” LaVoie and her cherries

So how does a phenomenon such as this begin? Back in 1998, Keri Burneston, who you may know as Trixie Little, teamed up with Valarie Perez-Schere to pioneer what has become a beloved Baltimore institution. If you know Trixie, then it’ll come as no surprise that Fluid Movement challenges most traditional notions it comes up against. For instance, FM stages a performance with a group of 60 or so people who aren’t necessarily performers any other time of the year. We do wacky water ballet with a bunch of people who are in no way – shape or form – trained to be synchronized swimmers. Can’t Swim? No problem. Wanna perform? Forget auditions; they take everyone who signs up.

It’s accessible, fun, free and, best of all, the bonds formed by the end of this summer-long extravaganza are as strong as the eyelash adhesive we have to use in the pool and as beautiful as the women behind them.

The Fluid Movement experience can be defined, for me, by the friends you have when it’s all over. Your eyes will burn from chlorine, your hair will feel like straw, you’ll spend lots of money on sunscreen and you’ll be better for it. Not to mention the fact that you’ll have a whole crew of new-found comrades.

Sign ups for next year’s performance are in May 2012. If you want to stay in the know, join FM’s Facebook and Twitter.

But first! Check out the shows this weekend.


Druid Hill Park Life Guard Brigade


Druid Hill Park Life Guard Brigade



Gangster Fight! Directed by Patty Gallivan, April Pink and Sidney Pink



Gangster Fight! Directed by Patty Gallivan, April Pink and Sidney Pink






The Boom Boom Room, directed by Becky Coleman and Rachel Kassman



The Boom Boom Room, directed by Becky Coleman and Rachel Kassman



The Boom Boom Room, directed by Becky Coleman and Rachel Kassman



Gail Force, played by Melanie “femme fatale” Kaye, and Sam Hoe, played by Victor “Magnum, P.I.” Perez

Duet choreographed by Melanie Kay and Victor Perez



Wild Samoans, directed by Justin Sabe and Sarah Wilson



Wild Samoan played by Valarie “Half Nelson” Perez-Schere. Mr. Bygg played by Eric Zink.



More Wild Samoans



Mandalit del Barco played by Melissa “Ultra” Sharlat



The Babalu Club



The Babalu Club



The Babalu Club



The Babalu Club



The Babalu Club



Sam Hoe played by Victor Perez




Barbara Wilgus



Tina “Iva Biggun” Lazar



Finale: Mayhem! Directed by Jobi Zink





If you see your purty face in Theresa Keil’s lovely photos, and you want your name next to it, – or if you have corrections – please email  xoxoxo