Triple-threat Lea DeLaria will bring her talents to The Manor next weekend. Outspoken and outrageous, Lea DeLaria is one funny broad. An actress, comedian and jazz singer, the unstoppable talent will stop by The Manor on July 30th and 31st for a benefit for Rising Action Theatre.
Outspoken and outrageous, Lea DeLaria is one funny broad. An actress, comedian and jazz singer, the unstoppable talent will stop by The Manor on July 30th and 31st for a benefit for Rising Action Theatre.
DeLaria, who has been performing comedy for over 25 years, was the first openly gay comic to appear on a late night talk show. She did a spot on “The Arsenio Hall Show” in 1993 and her popularity grew from there. She followed up the performance with two comedy CDs – “Bulldyke in a China Shop” and “Box Lunch” and a book called “Lea’s Book of Rules for the World.”
She has also made a name for herself in Broadway and Off-Broadway shows like “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” “On the Town,” and “The Rocky Horror Show” and in films like “Edge of Seventeen” and “The First Wives Club.” She just came off a TV gig playing Madame Delphina in “One Life to Live.”
DeLaria has an exceptional set of pipes and has been belting out jazz songs for decades. Influenced by her jazz pianist father, she released jazz standards on CDs “Play It Cool” and “Double Standards.” “Double Standards” is especially unique because it has DeLaria’s jazz take on popular rock and pop songs like Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” The Doors’ “People are Strange” and Blondie’s “Call Me.”
In 2008, DeLaria released “The Live Smoke Sessions” which featured pop standards like “Night and Day” and “Down With Love.”
When you go to see a Lea DeLaria show, you should expect a lot of laughs and to be blown away by her amazing singing. Hotspots spoke with the triple-threat about her upcoming appearances in South Florida.
Hotspots: What do you like about coming to South Florida?
Lea DeLaria: The girls.
Hotspots: Your show is a fundraiser for Rising Action Theatre and I know you do a lot of benefits. What are some of the other recent fundraisers you were involved in?
Lea DeLaria: Well, I just produced a benefit to raise funds for a friend of mine who has been diagnosed with secondary stage breast cancer. We did the Burt Bacharach Songbook; my guests included Sandra Bernhard, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Alan Cumming, Cady Huffma, Mary Testa, and Daphne Rubin Vega and Judy Gold. It was a big hit and we raised good money for the cause.
Hotspots: What should the audience expect from your performances at The Manor?
Lea DeLaria: Typical Lea fare. Swinging music and loud, sometimes vulgar, comedy.
Hotspots: Are people still surprised that you sing in your shows?
Lea DeLaria: Yes! Which I have to say shocks me. I have always sung in my shows. Always! I found in the early ’80s when I started that most people could only take about five minutes of my screaming punked out craziness before saying,”Mommy, make it stop.” So, I would sing some little jazz standard and lull them into a false sense of security before I started bellowing “Dyke” and “C*nt” at them again. The odd thing is I starred in “On the Town” in the park in 1997, since then I have starred in two Broadway musicals countless off Broadway musicals including work with The NYC Opera and I have three records out on a major label – my fourth, a Christmas album, is out this October. Hell, I even sang in the movie “Edge Of Seventeen.” So if they are fans, how can they not know I sing?
Hotspots: What is your favorite song to perform?
Lea DeLaria: I would have to say “Sweeney Todd” or “I Can Cook Too.”
Hotspots: What are some of the topics on your mind lately?
Lea DeLaria: The disappearance of butchness. The middle class mainstreaming of queer politics. Does my ass look fat in these jeans?
Hotspots: What comedian do you look to for a laugh?
Lea DeLaria: Bill O’Reilly.
Hotspots: What about you would surprise people (like a band people wouldn’t expect you to like, a TV show that is a guilty pleasure, or an unusual skill or hobby) ?
Lea DeLaria: AC/DC. Jeopardy… and I live in the same building as Lady Gaga.
Hotspots: What’s next for you?
Lea DeLaria: I am working on an album of all David Bowie tunes. This will be my next release after the Christmas CD.