Originally from San Francisco, Basil Twist is a third generation puppeteer who lives and works in NYC. He became the only American to graduate from the École Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France, one of the world’s premiere puppetry training programs.

Basil Twist

I had the pleasure of performing with Basil in 2001 for a non-profit event for TARC (Tenderloin AIDS Research Center). The event was a show loosely based about the 1930’s. Basil’s Grandfather was a bandleader in San Francisco during that time and would bring onstage a set of “band member” marionettes. Basil used one of his Grandfathers original puppets in our duet together. It was an honor to share the stage with him.

Basil and I

He is currently working on the collaboration with the amazingly talented Joey Arias called “Arias with a Twist” which has a limited engagement from September 14 through October 15. It’s a show not to miss. And this is what is being said about it: “Two national treasures unleash their epic imaginations to conjure a modern and intimate fantasy. Twist’s signature magic envelopes Arias’ legendary voice, transporting us to unpredictable worlds, channeling ecstatic desires, lavish nightmares and bizarre premonitions in a bejeweled cabinet of curiosities that could only be found in one of downtown’s last enclaves for bohemian New York style.”

Joey Arias in "Arias with a Twist"

Basil answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

My favorite dessert is ice cream. I love ice cream cakes. I particularly like that one that is shaped like a log… chocolate cake and mint ice cream.

What restaurant would you call your home?

Trattoria Spaghetto on Carmine Steet in the West Village is the restaurant that I call home. Simple Italian food right on a great corner with outdoor seating. This summer great sangria blanca and artichokes.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?

The dish that most impressed me was an incredible steak in Argentina. Its driving me crazy just thinking about it!

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

Favorite breakfast cereal as a kid was Honey Nut Cheerios.

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?

Post club pig out food – Ice cream for sure!