Erika’s Wall is a full-length musical by Sophie Jaff and Kathleen Tagg based on the true story of a woman who married the Eiffel Tower in April 2007. Erika Eiffel is a self-described objectum sexual (OS), and is the spokeswoman for objectum sexuals: people who love objects and believe that objects love them in return.
At a public ceremony in 2007, Erika LaBrie became Erika Eiffel when she married The Eiffel Tower. Today she lives next to the remnants of her greatest love, The Berlin Wall. Erika Eiffel hit a public nerve precisely because she made society question its own insecurities, hopes and beliefs regarding the very concept of love. We thought that if others could see her life as we did, as a love story, it would not only help create a more tolerant view but actually open the way for an open dialogue about our concepts about love and relationships.
The original impetus for this music about Erika Eiffel’s story came from the documentary “Strange Love: I
Married the Eiffel Tower”, a documentary about Erika which had been leaked on Youtube. While watching the documentary, and listening to Erika’s incredibly intelligent and heartfelt telling of her story, both Sophie and Kathleen agreed that the love she felt was no different from their own, no matter how differently it might manifest itself. They saw Erika’s story not as the actions of a crazy lady but as a potentially fabulous love story.
They found the Youtube comments about the documentary to be particularly vitriolic and decided that they were motivated by fear. This remarkable woman was an Olympian, a Team USA gold medalist and has achieved incredible heights in multiple fields.
Erika’s Wall explores and challenges our definitions of love. Sophie and Kathleen explored together their own reactions to Erika’s story together and examined their own definitions of love.
Erika’s Wall received its first month-long workshop period and performances in 2010 at The Music Theatre Company in Chicago under the direction of Jessica Reddish. Subsequently, Sophie and Kathy were 2014-15 Fellows of the Dramatist Guild to further develop the work, and presented extracts at Playwrights Horizons in New York City in 2015 with performers Mikki Sodergren, Alicia Krakauer and Matthew Patrick Morris and musical director Aron Acurso.