At tonight's annual Winterfest Ball at the Wax Museum Michael Reidy may have a little trouble deciding which hat to wear.
Reidy fits three bills, so he'll probably wear three hats. He's an artist who's shown at several local galleries, as well as a poet-songwriter and singer who built a reputation in the mid-70's as the leader of Razz, a popular pre-Wave band. These days, to keep the art and music separate he even has two names: Reidy for art, Mick Way for the music.
Reidy dropped out of rock for a while, feeling it was "a straitjacket. You just got up with guitars, dressed flashy and had some lights. That's when I started adding that Kabuki element: I had to get a mask for each mood so the audience would know what's going on. I knew they couldn't understand a damn thing I was singing."
His new group, Mick Way and the Wrong Ways, has no guitar. "It's a smoother, smarter sound. The keyboard player dances ballet. How can I lose?"
The creative energies for each discipline, Reidy says, are a bit different. "For one thing you're bouncing off other people when you're involved with a band. In art, you're pretty much alone." On Sunday at least, the music and art communities get a chance to meet on the beat.
Reidy and MWWW will join Cowboy Jazz, the Pelegrino Orchestra, the Velvet Monkeys and the Brotherhood Jazz Ensemble at Winterfest 83. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the ball will benefit local theater groups, including Source, New Playwrights and the Lorton Voices.