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The Writer In Question… Mr. Charles Busch

July 16, 2011 6:55 pm0 comments

altGreenwich Village has a reputation for being a haven for poets and performers, artists and intellectuals, from The Beats to the punks. While nostalgic accounts portray it as a breeding ground for all sorts of artistic revolutionaries, there was also a decidedly unpleasant element. Particularly in the East Village, homelessness, high crime and drug rates, and the sheer filth of the area kept the rents low enough for artists to populate it.
And then there was Alphabet City, which even in the 1980s was beyond “edgy,” it was downright scary. And yet amid the filth and squalor, creativity bloomed in the works of playwright/drag performer Charles Busch.
“In a way, what was very exciting in that period was that because it was maybe the last place in Manhattan that there were cheap rents, there were very edgy dance clubs, and art galleries were opening up there, and that was just the milieu of where we did our plays,” he recalls.
One of those plays, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom launched Busch from obscurity at the Limbo Lounge on Avenue C to the famed Provincetown Playhouse in the heart of the Village, where it ran for five years and received a rave review in The New York Times.
“I really was in the right place at the right time. It just literally was that six-month period that suddenly there was a lot of media focus on the wild performance art scene in the East Village. We were doing plays with titles like Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and Theodora, She-Bitch of Byzantium. So we were in every article. We had our picture in People magazine!”

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Sarcasm, Snark and Jackie Hoffman

June 23, 2011 6:32 pm0 comments

altJackie Hoffman worked really hard to get to Broadway. Really hard.
Hoffman did all that an actresses is supposed to do to make it to Broadway; she took roles where she could get them, wrote her own shows to keep herself on the stage, and practiced, practiced, practiced. It didn’t get her to Carnegie Hall, but rather the operating room.
A cancer scare had her in the hospital for a hysterectomy just as she turned 50, interrupting her run in Regrets Only. As she lay in bed in a drug-induced fog her agent called saying that if she wanted the role of Grandma in The Addams Family she could not miss the read-through scheduled just a few days later. She checked out of the hospital, got the role, and continued performing in Regrets Only, with a cot backstage to rest in between scenes.
“Talk about being desperate to be on Broadway,” says Hoffman, just after a Wednesday matinee of The Addams Family.
One would think that after the surgery Hoffman forever performed without her uterus. Not true. Her womb appeared on stage in her downtown New York cabaret shows, at least in puppet form.

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Living the Dream in “Snail Road”

June 3, 2011 3:14 pm0 comments

alt Reality and Provincetown are not two words that are often found in the same sentence. Reality is relative in Provincetown.
For many, the first glimpse of Provincetown is akin to Dorothy seeing the Emerald City. It’s a place that promises you can be who you want to be, and that your past, and indeed reality, is irrelevant. People all over the world click their heels and end up in Provincetown to fulfill their dreams, and along the way they meet fantastic creatures, mythical characters, and mysterious beasts.
“We make our own reality here,” says musician Zoe Lewis. “And it’s a marvelous thing.”
Snail Road, a new musical by Lewis premiering at the Art House, sets the alternate reality that is Provincetown to music. Gertrude Golightly, played by Lewis as sort of “the love child of Gertrude Stein and Holly Golightly,” is riding her bike down Commercial Street when she has an accident and bumps her head. Waking up, the first thing she sees is a giant Miss Richfield 1981. And so begins her fantastical journey through Provincetown to realize her dreams, which does not necessarily include going back to reality, but embracing the new life she has found.

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Natural Born Comic

3:08 pm0 comments

alt A Q & A with Nikkie Carr.

Nikki Carr is one funny lady. With a fourteen-year career under her belt and appearances on BET and Martin Lawrence 1st Amendment Stand Up, Carr makes her Provincetown debut this weekend with a special appearance for Women of Color Weekend. Carr took some time out of her schedule to talk about how she is a natural born comedian, being at sea with a boatload of lesbians, and what the “P” in “P’town” actually stands for.
Provincetown Magazine: Where do you get the most inspiration for your material?

Nikki Carr: You know, I really don’t know where some of the things I think of comes from. I’ve always had a knack for making people laugh and quick wit has been a gift since I was a kid. I would stop at nothing to get a big laugh from whomever my target or audience at the time. I’ve said it in interviews before and I’ll say it again because I feel it is very significant; my mother spent most of most days asking me the same question all the time, “Why are you so silly all the time?!?!”  So apparently I’ve always been quite nuts! I have to say though, in my Mom’s defense, she never once told me to stop acting silly. When I became a comedian, she was there and thus her life long question was answered at my very first show where I received a thunderous standing ovation. I was so silly because I was born a comedian! The decision to make my silliness a profession came from my Mother who would always say when I asked her to help me locate my father (jazz great Bruno Carr), “get famous and he’ll find you!” Well I took her advice but not to find my father. I knew that if I could get on TV, that perhaps my daughters who had been kidnapped by their dad and taken to Africa ( because he didn’t want his daughters to be raised by the lesbian who birthed them), would find me. To make a long story short,  that is exactly what happened. My daughters found me six months after I aired on BET’s Comic View!!! It had been 14 yeas since they’d been abducted.

PM: Wow! That’s an amazing story. Do your kids factor into your act?  Do they find you funny or are you a little more strict at home than on the stage?

 

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There “She” Is

April 14, 2011 6:00 am0 comments

By Steve Desroches Ever since Miss America 1984 Vanessa Williams lost her crown over the publication of nude photographs, the Miss America Pageant has been scandal-shy to the point of paranoia. Contestants must sign a contract that says they are of “good moral  character,” and that they have no “criminal [...]

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Coo Coo for Cabaret

April 13, 2011 6:00 am0 comments

Life is a cabaret and good old Liza is going wish she was here for CabaretFest, Cape Cod’s only music festival dedicated to celebrating the best in cabaret. Performers from New York, Boston, Providence, and the Cape gather each April for one magical weekend full of fun, music, and surprises. [...]

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Lady Ha Ha Kate Clinton on Provincetown, politics, and growing up Catholic

February 15, 2011 9:25 pm0 comments

alt

In a world of  media sound bites, political rallying that can sometimes border on the absurd, and rampant shortsightedness, Kate Clinton is the trend-spotter for her audience.
“People are swamped in the information age, so people have no time to spot patterns,” she explains. “I think that’s the job of the comic… to find out what is the pattern.”
The veteran comedian has been performing in Provincetown for 26 years, and in that time she’s seen it all, incorporating much of what she’s observed into her act. She will be performing October 14 – 16 at the Crown & Anchor, ending another great season in town.
“I think of the summer [in Provincetown] as a wonderful time for me to try stuff out, and as soon as it starts to work out, I get rid of it and do something new… it’s a lovely process, such a creative time,” Clinton says, adding that Women’s Week is a special time for her because so many of her “sister performers” are also in town.

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Cashetta’s Séance

7:20 pm0 comments

Throughout history and in almost every culture, humankind has tried to communicate with the dead. Most mainstream religions have a deeply buried belief somewhere in their history that communicating with the "other side" was possible. But the modern day concept of a séance (the French word for "session") came from the Fox sisters, who began to hold public séances in the small towns just east of Rochester, New York, in 1848.

 

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