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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 13, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 19
A Dyke About Town: Lea DeLaria nails standards and comedy
Arts & Entertainment
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A Dyke About Town: Lea DeLaria nails standards and comedy

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Lea DeLaria
Mercy and Cuteness were knocked out by Lea DeLaria's concert at the Triple Door on May 7. The comedian/singer appeared with tousled short hair and black leather pants. Cuteness said, 'Who knew she had such a fabulous voice?'

Janette Mason's keyboards were delicious. Paul Gabrielson's bass was funky. Lea opened with 'Can't Help Loving That Man of Mine,' letting her powerful voice out.

She said she is an old-school butch. DeLaria sang 'Butch Woman Blues.' 'Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea' followed, featuring piano and some nice scat. Mason was the focus of 'Call Me.'

Lea said, 'I'm at that age where I have my own personal trip to Tahiti. They tell you you're going to have hot flashes. They don't tell you that you are going to itch. I read a box of Vagisil. It says it is for 'minor vaginal itching.' What the hell is that? Not the kind that makes you want to rip at it. They don't tell you that you are going to forget. I go into a room and can't remember what I went in there for. If I forget a lyric, you have to forgive me.'

Janette did an amazing solo rendition of 'Sweet Dreams.' DeLaria asked for a change in the monitor. She said, 'You have to speak kindly when you talk to the sound man, or he'll turn your fucking mic off.'

Lea asked, 'What do you call a gaggle of faggots? I know it is a lick of Lesbians. Let's say it is a ram of faggots.' She added, 'I know there are some women out there still saying, 'Why is she singing? It has been 10 years since her first musical.' The reason I sing is because I am fucking good at it.'

DeLaria described going to New York jazz clubs when she was appearing in The Rocky Horror Show, after she realized she would be offered free drinks if she agreed to sing with the band. She finally wound up drunk and stoned at a piano bar where a friend of hers was playing keyboards. DeLaria got him high, too. In that state, they created a swing version of 'The Ballad of Sweeney Todd.' Lea said, 'After eight bars - well, since it was Sondheim, after seven and nine bars, we realized we were over the edge.'

'My Cat Fell in the Well' was a funny song. 'Star Man' featured piano and bass. Mason was the focus of 'Yesterdays.'

DeLaria reminded us that she was the first out comic on TV after performing on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1993. She closed by letting us hear that 'Ballad of Sweeney Todd.' Her encore was 'I Can Cook, Too' focusing on piano and including some scat.

Northwest Puppet Center Opera
Assonance had turned Mercy and Cuteness on to Haydn's opera, The Burning House, at Northwest Puppet Center. They were happy she did, because it was delightful. Kapacity pointed out that soprano Linda Tsatsanis was wonderful. The Carter Family Marionettes were playful.

Rachelle Ferrell
Mercy turned Cuteness on to Rachelle Ferrell. She will appear at Jazz Alley from May 19 to 22. Band members are Raymond McKinley (bass), Ricardo Jordan (drums), Brandon Coleman (keyboards), and Billy Odum (guitar).

Ferrell began singing at the age of 6, which many speculate contributed to the development of her startling six-octave range. From 1975 to 1990, she sang backup for Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Williams, and George Duke. Ferrell's debut, First Instrument, was released in 1990 in Japan, five years prior to its U.S. release.

You can get your tickets at jazzalley.com.

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