A Funny Perspective

By Sarah McPeck

Christopher Street, a new musical from Silver Slipper Productions is coming to LUSH!

September 13, 2023

We sat down with creative superstar and local favorite, Martina Mayotte to talk about this exciting new play!

Tell me about this musical!  How did it come to be?
The show has been in place for about 14 years now. Gabe Gabriel and I started writing this when we were much younger. We originally did this musical in 2012 for Fringe Festival and then we didn’t look at it again for like ten years. This year we were in the right space to rework this musical, and we were so excited to bring this musical to life again. We’ve got a band and amazing costumes and a fantastic director, Steve Ramirez, who has worked with us before and it has been such an amazing experience. This show is incredible, and we can’t wait to bring it to LUSH.

What is the story of Christopher Street?
Christopher Street is set in 1979 and it is about these three young, early twenty something guys who want to go to New York for each of their own reasons, each of them has something that they are trying to fulfill. They think that New York is going to solve whatever problems they are seeking answers to. They end up arriving n New York City and find themselves in the middle of a gay pride parade, which in 1979 was ten years after the Stonewall Riots.  So it is also historical fiction.

We did a lot of research and found a lot of photos and read a lot of books about people in the community during that time and tried to bring those stories to life in this collective. We imagined what these characters would be like. We wanted to show what each of them was going through at the time and to show the audience these sorts of cliched queer archetypes from that period. It is all about the community and sharing strength and understanding and empowering each other.

How has rehearsal been going?
It has been so much fun! We have created some new songs that have never been done before in any of the previous performances. It is so fun to see all the pieces put together. It is quite emotional sometimes, because this musical is our baby.  

What has been your biggest takeaway in doing this musical in its new iteration?
I think that I learned a lot about what stories I want to tell in the future. I think that it was cool to go through this process of taking this story and building it through the last decade.  As a writer I am so excited to look forward to delivering more queer stories.

Why will audiences love Christopher Street?
This show is very colorful. The costuming is beyond amazing. It is a visual delight. The music is super fun. We have a full band; I will be playing the piano. The cast is telling me all the time how much they love the music and songs. At the end of the day though, I think it is the stories that will resonate with the audience.

Returning to roles from previous productions are Rebecca Gebhart as Mama T, Lamar Jefferson as Eddie and Gabe Gabriel (co-writer) as Tad. Featuring a cast of 18 Twin Cities favorites like Juan Keyai as Tina, Emily Throkildson as Julia, Ellie Turk as Sally, Midnightwaterfairy as Coral and the 3 “Midwesterners”: Hawken Paul as David, Joe Sorenson as Ricky and Mike Tober as James. Directed by Steve Ramirez Music Directed and Produced by Martina Mayotte (Co-writer)


Returning to roles from previous productions are Rebecca Gebhart as Mama T, Lamar Jefferson as Eddie and Gabe Gabriel (co-writer) as Tad. Featuring a cast of 18 Twin Cities favorites like Juan Keyai as Tina, Emily Throkildson as Julia, Ellie Turk as Sally, Midnightwaterfairy as Coral and the 3 “Midwesterners”: Hawken Paul as David, Joe Sorenson as Ricky and Mike Tober as James. Directed by Steve Ramirez Music Directed and Produced by Martina Mayotte (Co-writer)

$25 tickets • 7PM

The Divine Margaret Cho is coming to St. Paul!

September 13, 2023

Margaret Cho had long been a hero of mine. I have always been amazed at her hilarious takes on her life and the life around her. She is transparent, raw, intelligent, brassy and above all else: hilarious!

You were recently named Top 50 Comedians of all Time by Rolling Stone! How does that make you feel and who are your idols?
It’s a true honor and I really can’t believe it. My favorite is always Joan Rivers who was a mentor and a close friend. I always want to do justice to her memory. 

You worked with Joan Rivers on Fashion Police. What do you think she would say about “cancel culture?”
She wouldn’t care about it at all!

You are on the Live and Livid Tour! What topics are you talking about on this tour?
Protecting drag queens and the trans community! Fighting against racism and homophobia! Staying sane and silly. 

What is your favorite on the road snack?
I am a Funyuns Stan. 

You have three cats and a dog. Do you sleep with any or all of them? 
I sleep with all of them and it makes for a very warm and cozy environment.  

Do you dress your animals in clothes? 
Only Lucia my chihuahua. The cats hate clothes! Lucia has many costumes and fabulous leashes and harnesses.   

What is the most ridiculous thing you have bought for your animals?
A ‘casino’ where they can ‘win’ treats by playing. It’s actually a fantastic purchase but excessive. 

How do you treat yourself?
Ice cream sandwiches 

You talk a lot about your sobriety journey with your fans. Any advice for others going through the same thing?
Try to stay positive and focused on happiness. I have a lot of things I do for my well being. Exercise and meditation are key. 

I love your music and songs you’ve written. Are you still making music?
Yes always! It’s a big part of my life and I’ll always sing and play! I just performed a tribute to Sinead O'Connor at one of my recent shows. (Click the video below)

How do you like to recharge?
I just lay there!

Are you reading any good books or streaming anything you love?
I’m reading everything by and about Eve Babitz who was such an extraordinary icon of Los Angeles. Also my friend Jillian Lauren wrote a true crime book called Behold the monster which is mind blowing. 

Why are fans going to love this show?
It’s really funny and fun. It’s celebrating 40 years of being a stand up comedian and I’m thrilled to still be out there. 

Petty Treason Chats Fat Babe Review!

September 13, 2023

Tell me about Fat Babe Review! I love the name of the show! How did you come up with that name? 
Fat Babe Revue is a part of the Take it Off Burlesque Festival! Thursday night is the way we kick off the whole weekend, so its always a blast. Its called the Fat Babe Revue because thats exactly what it is. A bunch of hot fat babes who have come together to show off all their ASSets!

Tell me who is in the show! 
Our cast list is... Lola Champagne, Prance Dashing, Rosie Valentine, Highness Noir, Ostara Reign, VaVa Vashti, Jeannie Retelle, Luma Notti and Honey Bunz. Hosted by Texas Tea Cakes and Petty Treason!
We have lots of local performers, as well as traveling show babes here to entertain! This show, and the entire weekend, is a national community of fat burlesque performers. Ive seen some INCREDIBLE art in past years, and I cant wait to see whats up next!

What will audiences love about this show?
This is the 5th year of Take it Off and our theme this year is Fat Joy. This show, and all of the shows for the weekend, are going to showcase how joyful, beautiful, and fun fat burlesque performers are! Its important to see fat people experiencing pleasure. Fat performers arent just a token to claim there is a "diverse cast". We are artists with stories to tell. We're here to seduce you, entertain you, and make you feel excited.

What’s next for you? 
After the Take it Off Burlesque: A Fat Burlesque Weekend, Ill be with my co-producers Maranda Wright and Sparkles Du jour over at Golden Garters Burlesque! We're a live jazz band burlesque show in Saint Paul. You can find tickets here!

Get ready for glitz, glamour and tassels! The Minneapolis Burlesque Festival is coming to town September 7th -10th! 

August 30, 2023

This is an annual event that showcases the best of the best in Burlesque. There are eight incredible workshops to choose from and a bounty of performances! The art of burlesque is a time honored art form. It is far more than just getting to see some naked people. Burlesque is all about the drama and the tease but it is also all about the funny.

Burlesque is an art form that combines the drama of theater and uses satire and parody to elevate and punctuate the routines with humor and cheeky wit. Pun intended. Burlesque is derived from the Italian word "burlesco" meaning joke or mockery. As a comedian I have always enjoyed the playfulness of many performances and love the multi dimensional performers who are able to play to the top of their intelligence. 

If you have never tried burlesque I encourage you to be brave and take a workshop. A few years ago I took a workshop and was thrilled with the results. I gained confidence in myself and in my body. Even though I never performed burlesque, the skills that I received in the workshop helped me in many areas of my life.

Produced by local innovator Elektra Cute, the Minneapolis Burlesque Festival features four days of showcases, plus additional parties, special events, and burlesque workshops with visiting instructors from around the world.

Gracing the stage will be Twin Cities favorites and a bevy of the best national and international performers. In previous years, performers have traveled from New York, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Vancouver, New Orleans, and beyond. The festival celebrates the crème de la crème of burlesque, aerial, comedy, and variety! This event is proudly sponsored by TC Cabaret, Working Class Publishing, The Twin Cities Trapeze Center, and more! 

Were we ever not “infected”? In a post pandemic world, Mayda evaluates what “healthy” looked like before covid. Were we ever really healthy?

August 30, 2023

Or have we always been in limbo between feeling safe and being on the edge of the world. Has the world ever not had pre-existing conditions of racism, shootings, social media addiction, and uncertainty? 

Mayda’s latest release, “Infected”, was recorded over two years – in the heart of the pandemic. Her swagger comes out in the songs Freak, Snq Paq, Gold and more. We all know the unbearable symptoms and the dangerous funky side effects. You are not alone. We love you.

Join the party at the  MAYDA "Infected" Album Release Party!

Tell me about your new album, Infected? When is the release?
COVID was hands down a virus that affected and INFECTED humanity as a whole. For most of the world, it was a new event that people had to try to live through. Even young healthy people were getting INFECTED, Then shit started hitting the fan George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Asian Hate, ... Even though the pandemic was a never before event, America has always been infected with RACISM, Oppression, White Supremacy, natural disasters, LGBTQ rights etc. These INFECTIONS have always been around. The album, INFECTED, is a realization for some or a reminder for others, that humans have always been INFECTED not by just a bacterial virus, but a messed up social system. 

Sept. 15th at Hook and Ladder 7pm. My band, 5ifith House, Diane (host of the Local Show) and YOU (host) right?  

The video you released with Jess Bush was incredible! How did you come up with the concept?
It was a collaboration with Gina, the hair stylist and Carly, the videographer. We wanted to put together short episodic videos highlighting each song. Each video highlighted how the song would be interpreted through hair styling. Snq Pq was a fun one. 

What do you mean, this is your last album? 
I feel that I have really exhausted my name as a solo artist. People change. Breaks must be had. I am by no means stopping creating and playing music! I will still make albums or at least songs.

What are the most important ingredients to a fantastic song? 
A good hook, a powerful and honest execution 

What’s one of your favorite love songs? 
Untitled by D'Angelo 

What song do you listen to when you are sad? 
Right now, "I miss you" by Adele off of 25.

How has your tour been going? I see you’ve been on the road a lot? 
I was driving in Arkansas to Alabama on Hwy 555 around 1:30pm. It was beginning to rain. All of a sudden I felt a push forward. I slid slightly off the road. I was in disbelief. I got out of the car and saw a red Kia jeep or suv with a crunched corner. A young guy jumped out of his car asking if I was ok. It was pouring by then. He said the police were coming and he sped off really fast.  

What makes you happy? 
Sharing music with other people. Traveling to other countries and performing. 

Anything else?
Please come to my show! I would love that. Thanks for listening!

Wake & Shake! A new burlesque brunch, hosted by Petty Treason and produced by Deeva Rose!

August 16, 2023

We caught up with local Burlesque star, Petty Treason to talk about a fun new brunch! Wake & Shake  is August 19th at The Pourhouse! Come and join me! I can't wait for this fantastic show!

Tell me what to expect with Wake & Shake? Eggs and legs baby! Expect a good time! Our brunch features some Twin Cities heavy hitting performers like Tre Da' Marc, Deeva Rose, Bessie Snow, and Kitson Sass, as well as an out of town performer Eartha Kitten! All of us are nationally traveled performers, so we're bringing a lot of heat to the table.

Why is burlesque an important art form?
Burlesque means something different to everyone. My idea of what burlesque is changes all the time. Right now, I think it's important because we are carrying on a legacy. Performers before us paved the way so we could continue to put bodies of all kinds on stages. It's a sexy joy.

What excites you about Burlesque in the Twin Cities?
I love seeing more shows! As my mentor and friend Foxy Tann says "more is more!". Our scene is continually growing, and I love seeing new shows (like this brunch!!) popping up. 

Who are some of your favorite up and coming burlesque artists?
I teach at the Rose Academy of Burlesque, so I see SO many talented new performers coming into our scene. I can't wait to see what they do :)

What is your take on the Barbie movie bringing all of this femme visibility?
LOVE THIS QUESTION! I think the Barbie movie highlights how strong femme power is and how better community can be when all voices are heard. So I am ALL about it. And obviously I like all the pink ;)

Any advice for newcomers to a burlesque show?
Be ready to be loud! Burlesque performers LOVE to hear their audiences cheering for them. Bring dollar bills to throw if you can! It's how we rhinestone our costumes! But overall, get ready to have uninhibited fun.

What is your favorite place in the twin cities to get a sweet treat?
OOF. I have such a sweet tooth. In Minneapolis, I'm really into Bebe Zito Ice Cream. In Saint Paul it's Nellies hands down. Their ice cream sandwiches are to die for.

What is new for Petty Treason?
So much! The biggest project I'm working on right now is Take it Off: A Fat Burlesque Weekender. It's an incredible event where we showcase fat burlesque performers from across the nation. That will be September 21-23rd with shows at The Black Hart of St Paul, The Gay 90s, and The Brass Rail. Deeva Rose and The Rose Academy team that I'm a part of produce the shows and I cant wait. It's our 5 year anniversary this year and our theme is celebrating fat joy! 

DJ Shannon Blowtorch is at it again with some amazing end of summer parties!

August 16, 2023

Power Puff: A Queer Dance Party, Barbie Thursday and Y2K: That's What I Call 2000's. We sat down with DJ Shannon Blowtorch and chatted about her up and coming show! Get your ticket now! 

Blowtorch has been a leader in Twin Cities parties and events and is ready to keep you moving and grooving through the summer. Make sure you check out these amazing spaces and get down with your bad self on the dance floor! 

How has your summer been going?
So far I'm loving summer. Loving life, living the dream! 

Power Puff is coming up soon! Tell me all about it!
Power Puff is a queer centered party Izsie, Duina, and myself wanted to do. I could love working with the 2 of them any more than I already do. We're doing it in a gorgeous space, the Granada Theater, and we wanna offer a cool ass space, with some kick ass DJs. Every month is gonna be different. We like to theme the party and have a costume contest. 

Femme visibility is on the media thanks to Barbie. What is your hot take on this femme explosion?
I fully support this, and all the femmes that were already out here doing this damn thing! I def want to acknowledge the femmes that have been out here long before the Barbie movie lol. 

How can we support female artists better?
Stop gate keeping to the people with that power. Support female artists and support them all the time. Don't expect shit in return, do it cuz you wanna do good and be good and support dope artists.

As one of the best known DJs who happens to be a woman. What advice do you have for women who want to get into the business of party and promotions?
Do your thing! You have a lot of obstacles to overcome being a woman in the industry. Find people that you can bounce ideas off of, and people you can trust to be real with you. Don't let anyone tell you you're doing it wrong, cuz if its working, then its working 

What is your favorite spot in the Twin Cities to unwind?
I really like to go to Nightengale Bar and just chill with a buddy. 

Anything up and coming for Shannon Blowtorch?
I'm always excited to see my DJ children come up and playing gigs as much as they are. I love it! As for me, I'm not sure. Just living and enjoying life with my family, feeling blessed to do what I do. 

Sandra Bernhard is coming to town with her new one woman show, Spring Affair! August 12th at 8:00 PM at The Parkway Theater in Minneapolis!

August 2, 2023

Spring Affair will make you laugh, groove in your seat, question humanity and applaud life as a worthwhile pursuit. I had a delightful conversation with this incredible woman. She was eager to share how excited she was to be on tour again and to come to Minneapolis.

We are so excited to have you back at The Parkway Theater in Minneapolis! What inspired you to create Spring Affair? 

It is a show that has been a work in progress for the past year and a half. When I do my shows at Joe’s Pub, I always write new material and put new songs together. At this point my shows are always a work in progress. They just keep evolving. I write new material. I add in new songs and they just morph into a new and different show. I wanted to do something with a kind of a summer theme. Although this entire show is certainly not about Summer or Spring. It’s just about everything that I am going through. That we’re going through. All tied in with great music and compelling songs and storytelling.

You’re an amazing storyteller and I love that you are always writing. I love the promo picture for Spring Affair with the yellow tulips. Who designed that beautiful dress? 

It was an off the rack dress that my stylist got for me. He used to work for Nordstrom’s and I really liked it and wanted to keep it, but it was the kind of dress that kept sliding off your shoulder. I was bummed because I wanted to keep it for stage but it would have driven me crazy while I was performing.

You are described by many as “outrageous.” What is your take on why you are described that way? 

I think it is that over the years, I’ve gone headlong into some topics and experiences that were at the time a little more taboo. I think when you are an artist and you are authentic and talk about things in a multi layered way, I think that it can be construed as outrageous. I like to think that what I do not only pushes some buttons but also reveals some truths about our culture and myself.

I have always been inspired by your ability to connect with audiences and you have a fierce and loyal fan base to prove it. What is it about building conversations with people, whether it is through performance, radio interviews or just daily conversations with people that excites and motivates you to be a conversationalist? 

I think now, more than ever, people are looking for touchstones. It is just nice to know that you can have a conversation with somebody that you have admired for a long time and love their work. But that they also have humanity. That is what I always respond to and people that I am fans of, when they step outside of their personas and can really be present. I think that is a culmination of a total person as the artist and as the human being. And I think one without the other really doesn’t fully excite me because you want to know that somebody is authentic behind what they are saying as a human being. 

You have never allowed yourself to be put in just one box. Is there a medium of performance that you haven’t tried yet, that you are interested in? 

No, not really. I’m not like one of those people. I am not looking to direct or stepping out of the box in that way. So, I think just more of what I’ve been doing?

I mean I have been writing a TV project with my friend Judy Gold for over a year now. But because of the writers and actor strike, that’s on hold. But that’s okay. I mean it is there. It is evergreen, it’s not going anywhere. It is just a matter of everything coming to a resolution for actors and writers and then stepping back into the arena and getting back to work. I’d like to be on a show that I created and that I have more creative control over and have it run for four or five seasons and have that experience of it being my show, so I am hoping this is the one. So, we will see when things pick up again, how they will play out. 

You are a feminist and voice for LGBTQ rights. What are your thoughts on the antics of the right-wing contingency regarding drag performers?

I think it is all just theater on the part of the right wing at this point. There is nobody who hasn’t seen a drag show or watched RuPaul. It is just so mainstream at this point. It’s just stupid. I mean I don’t think it’s a fly by, but it will pass through and they will be on to the next thing.

As someone who loves beauty and glamour, do you have a favorite beauty or make up tip?

Well, there’s a million things because I have worked with so many great people over the years. But the secret that I’ve learned is I can never do it as well on myself as the masters can do it. And I cannot do my own hair. That is out of the question. I can do the day to day, if I have the right haircut, which I usually do and a good color, it can look cute casual, but there is no way that I could emulate the fabulousness of my hair that a great hair person can. So honestly, I don’t have any secrets except to not over do it when I do it myself. 

Do you read books or are you more of an Audible person? 

Ok, no, no, no, no, no, no. I am absolutely not an audible person. I am reading Goon Squad right now. Hold on, I don’t want to get the wrong title. It is called, A Visit from the Goon Squad. It is a writer named Jennifer Egan. It is a really good book. So, I like hard, not a hard back, but I’d like a copy. I like to hold a book and read it and that’s always something that I will always do. I don’t like to read on the Kindle and I don’t listen to Audible.

My takeaway from interviewing Sandy B is that she is an absolute original, she was also charming and kind. She was present, intentional, genuine and quick with a laugh. If you want to see a show that is unique, fast paced and funny, join me at Spring Affair! Let’s show up for this icon and sell out The Parkway! 

I can’t wait to see you there for Spring Affair! 

Tennessee rockers Paramore returned to St. Paul on August 2nd to a packed house and a new album. 

August 4, 2023

Paramore lit the Xcel Center on fire! Over the past few years Paramore’s popularity has skyrocketed thanks to social media and online streaming services and the house was full of eager fans both new and old.

The night was a giant sing along with concert goers gleefully singing along to every song. The lighting and stage design was a show in itself with moving stage parts, engaging video and of course perfectly timed confetti bursts. Paramour is back at the top of their game, playing a compilation of hits and highlighting their sixth album This is Why. Front woman, Haley Williams kept the night moving with high energy dance and angsty pop-punk ballads celebrating, love, pain and everything magical in between. The sense of pure adulterated love from the fans made the night a celebration. 

Hayley Williams is a star in every sense. From her vibrant hair and glam rock apparel to her genuine conversations with the band and the audience, she gave herself completely to the night and the performance. She encouraged the audience to vote and asked fans to make a pinky promise to use their voice to fight for LGBTQ rights and justice for marginalized persons in our world. Guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro ascended above the main stage on a smaller stage and gave a dynamic showstopping performance. At the end of the show Paramore brought a fan onstage to sing the final section of “Misery Business.” 

Photos by Zachary Gray

An all fat babe show every third Friday of the month at the Brass Rail Cabaret in Minneapolis!

June 21, 2023

Women-owned, Minority-owned, LGBTQ+ owned and Black-owned.

Where did this idea come from and why? 
I (Lucyfer Love) was working at Brass Rail and my boss was telling me how we were going to start doing more events there. I thought that a show with all fat performers would be cool so we threw out the idea of Fat Bitch Friday to her. I didn’t really think much would come of it though since we were just brainstorming. Then a week later she was like “if you put the event together, we can have Fat Bitch Friday here”. 

I was super excited about it but I had NEVER produced a show before. I ended up sending out a post asking if anyone was interested in helping me out this show together which is where I met Chastity, who is literally one of the most amazing humans I have ever met! We immediately got to work and next thing you know, we made Fat Bitch Friday a reality! We want to prove that an all fat cast show can be as well attended as any other show and so far the shows have been a great success!

What is representation important for plus size bodies?
Nearly every fat burlesque artist locally has a similar story: they saw another fat performer and were surprised that fat people were "allowed" to do burlesque. Most performing arts don't feature or typecast fat roles so seeing fat bodies performing, being sexy, taking off clothes ... It's radical, it's political, it's life altering. 

What can folks expect from a Fat Bitch Show? 
Variety and a good time! We feature fat artists of all kinds: drag, burlesque - we even had a comedian this last show. You'll laugh, you'll be amazed and entertained. It’s such an uplifting event with such diverse representation. You will see a lot of BIPOC folk and people of all different gender identities and sexual identities, from the producers to the cast to the wonderful people attending!

How can people get involved?
Whether you want to perform, volunteer, or attend, reach out to us at 

What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is freedom - freedom to be yourself fully and authentically. To love who you love and be who you are 

Anything else you would like to add?
I think it’s really important that people know that Fat Bitch Friday was founded by a fat black queer woman and that the show is very inclusive. We make sure to create a safe and welcoming environment for our cast and patrons. We also make it a priority to make accommodations for those with disabilities who want to perform as well. Whether you’re an amateur or have been performing for ages we welcome anyone to come and apply!


Join the Party! DJ Shannon Blowtorch and Elektra Cute Present The Black Hearts Block Party. 
Theme: Extra as F*ck.

June 07, 2023

I can already hear the rhythmic beating of dance vibes and envision the beauty of Black Hearts Burlesque as we get ready to ring in another Pride! Make sure your Pride plans include a night of over-the-top entertainment with DJ Shannon Blowtorch and the cast of Black Hearts Burlesque in a gay extravaganza that you must see to believe! 

Black Hearts Block Party will showcase some of the best entertainers in burlesque, drag and cabaret. DJ Shannon Blowtorch will keep you shaking your tailfeather all night long. 

We sat down with Elektra Cute and DJ Shannon Blowtorch to talk about this fantastic, rainbow-boom-bastic event.

Photo By: M&D Media

How did you two join forces to put this together?
EC: Shannon reached out to see if I wanted to toss some ideas around for Pride. We felt that this year especially it was important to create a vibrant and joyful celebration. I am primarily living in New Orleans and Shannon was visiting Las Vegas and both cities heavily influenced the design of this event. From the glam and glitter and extravagance of Las Vegas to the sexy, lavish, stylistic vibe from New Orleans, we had to call it Extra as F*ck. It’s the only thing we could call it. 

What can people expect to experience?
SB: The Hook and Ladder has an amazing outdoor stage, fully tented and with a state-of-the-art sound system. People will be able to enjoy the fresh air and great summer weather while watching Black Hearts Burlesque perform. After Black Hearts is finished outside, we will move the party inside. The second half of the party will begin at 9 PM and there is an amazing VIP experience that really lets you take in the night in style from start to finish.

What happens inside?
SB: There will be two dance parties going on at the same time in two different rooms. You will see go-go dancers, ambient performers, and special pop-up performances all night long. 

Describe the VIP Experience:
EC: The VIP experience is for someone who wants to have more of an intimate night. There will be a private party with samples from sponsors Jack Daniels and Chambord. VIP’s will also partake in a meet and mingle with the cast of Black Hearts Burlesque and will receive preferred seating.

Why do you love Pride?
SB: Because everything is gay, gay, gay. Everyone’s gay. Deal with it. I just love that Pride celebrates just being more of everything. More weirdness. More sparkle. More feathers. More rhinestones. It is indulgent, it’s exciting and it is unapologetic. You can just feel free to be and look however you want to, and no one bats an eye. 
EC: I am excited to come home to Minnesota and see my community and really embrace each other. For me it is really about community and celebration and being supportive. There is so much hurt and violence that has happened to our community in the past few years. It is so important for us to also be joyful and celebrate our right to live the way we want to. To be together and focus and love. Also, more feathers, more rhinestones, more make up, more costumes, more everything. I love it all.

Shannon. What is some quintessential music on your Pride playlist right now?
SB: Give me all the Sylvester. I’ll take all of it. And Donna Summer. Sylvester and Donna Summers. That’s it. It is happy music, and we need a little bit of happy. The young ones need to be introduced to the smooth, fun music of the 70’s. 

Happy Pride Twin Cities. Let’s get Extra AF.


Tickets are on sale now for Black Hearts Block Party on 6/24 at Hook & Ladder in Minneapolis! 

Join nationally acclaimed artists: DJ Shannon Blowtorch and Elekta Cute for a night of burlesque, circus entertainment, body painting and dancing galore. I’ll see you there! 

Jenny Zigrilo, native Minnesotan and hilarious standup comedian.

May 24, 2023

Jenny Zigrilo released a special on comedy central and is taking the comedy scene by storm! I had such a fun interview with Jenny, read on!

How has the response been from your special Jen Z? 
It has been going very well, about 1,000 views a day so far! 

That is incredible! What is the special about? Oh you know being a millennial and all that entails, which is a lot! 

Do you have a favorite comedy club in Minneapolis? 
I love Acme! It is the G.O.A.T. It is one of the first open mics I ever did. I started stand up when I was 15 and then I didn’t do it again until I was 18 and moved to Boston. 

Do you plan on coming to the Twin Cities on your tour?
I am trying to!

Who are your comedy idols?
Maria Bamford, Lewis Black and Mitch Hedberg.

What kind of comedy do you enjoy?
I like storytelling. I think it is my favorite. Right now, my favorite comedians are Kyle Cunanan, Neil Brennan and Sarah Silverman. I love Sarah Silverman. Also, Ali Wong. She does storytelling with a message. 

What are some of your favorite comedy moments?
I think my first one would be getting on late night with Conan O Brien. It felt huge.

What is next for you?
I’m working on a new hour and I hope to manifest a TV show or movie, that I’ve written and will be in so that is on the vision board.

Head on over to Comedy Central to check out JEN Z, today! 

Follow Jenny Zigrilo @jennyzigrilo

Nudie Nubies is bringing their show the big stage!

April 12, 2023

Get ready you cats and kittens! The Nudie Nubies is bringing their show the big stage! Come see what all the fuss is about! Read on to find out more about this fantastic burlesque competition! We chatted with one of our favorites, Petty Treason about this Nationwide competition!

What is Nudie Nubies? 
The Nudie Nubie Show - An Amateur Reveal is the longest running amateur burlesque competition in the country! For over 15 years, Nudie Nubies has been running monthly at The Black Hart of Saint Paul (nee The Townhouse), providing space and support for the next generation of burlesque artists. Over 500 artists have performed at Nudie Nubies, launching some of the Twin Cities most prominent burlesquers' journey on stage. And last year, Nudie Nubies Nationwide was launched at The Historic Mounds Theater, providing a space for performers from all over the country to compete, learn and network. Nationwide was so well received, both with audiences and artists, that we are bringing it back!

How did Nudie Nubies get started?
When Nudie Nubies started, over 15 years ago, there were limited spaces that were comfortable booking burlesque production, so performance opportunities were also limited. Newer burlesquers weren't able to grow and progress due to the lack of experience in front of live audiences. Foxy Tann and RedBone founded Nudie Nubies to be the space for newer performers to gain that experience, in a supportive environment, alongside local burlesque veterans! You can never have too many strippers! The Townhouse (now The Black Hart), had always been supportive of new, alternative productions so it was the perfect place to produce the competition. Today the competition is booked months out, sold out audiences every month and spawned the annual festival Nudie Nubies Nationwide!

What can people expect when they attend a show?
You can expect an experience that you have never had before! Nudie Nubies Nationwide is a 2 night, 3 show extravaganza! Friday night's show  features 12 competitors from all over the country, each doing one act. We have a more than distinguished panel of experienced performers that will then decide which 6 competitors advance to Saturday night's finals. We also have some of the biggest and most badass burlesque stars in the country to show us how it's done! Miss Indigo Blue (Seattle), Shimmy LaRoux (Chicago) and our hometown favorite, Sweetpea! We are so excited! You never knew there were so many ways to get naked! It is a whirlwind of creativity and talent! It is a celebration of the human body and sexuality!

What do you love about The Historic Mounds Theater?
We love that The Mounds is owned and run by a burlesquer! And the fact that The Mounds has consistently supported burlesque, providing a platform in St. Paul at a time when St. Paul didn't have a lot of burlesque productions. The stage is fantastic! AND they have a full liquor license allowing us to have as awesome a sponsor as Du Nord Spirits!

Why do you love Burlesque? 
Because it is one of the most accessible performance arts out there! We have watched new performers' confidence blossom not only artistically but personally. Burlesque can change lives! Burlesque has changed lives! Watching people find their own expression, and being a part of their journey! And it is a hell of a lot of fun to perform! Crazy, screaming, rabid audiences that seem to be having the time of their lives? What's not to love?!?!

What are the elements of Burlesque?
There are traditional elements - the corset, the glove peel, stocking peel, boa work, feather fans…what we call "Classic" or "Gown and Glove" acts. But quite honestly, everyone’s elements are their own! Burlesque is a highly adaptive art form! People can make it what they like! Which is what makes burlesque so damn exciting! You NEVER know what you are going to see!

Can men do Burlesque?
Anyone can do burlesque! Anyone who can think of creative ways to take their clothing off and entertain an audience is more than welcome to do burlesque! That is the entire point of the neo-burlesque movement! Burlesque is a way for ANYONE to express themselves on stage.

What is the of history of burlesque?
It is the history of women, trans and cos, from the beginning of time, expressing themselves exactly how they wanted to. You would not have ANY pop icon today without burlesque! In my not so humble opinion!

How much are tickets and where can people buy them?
The Historic Mounds Theater
Friday April 21, 2023 8pm - $21-43
Saturday April 22, 2023 7pm - $21-43
The Black Hart of Saint Paul
Saturday April 22,2023 10pm - $7 at the door only

Late & Funny is taking over the show room at Roxy’s every Friday Night!

April 12, 2023

There’s a new comedy show in town! LaF is taking over the show room at Roxy’s every Friday Night! Read on to find out more about Late and Funny!

How has LaF been going? 
Late and Funny has been such a wonderful experience for me! I’ve been learning a lot about producing and am immensely honored to be doing this at Roxy’s Cabaret! The drag performers there are some of the most top-notch talent we have in the Twin Cities and to produce a show that lives on the same stage as them is something I do not take for granted. It is a lot to be in the producer seat for Late and Funny – I book the talent, the host, coordinate to get marketing images made, I share them out of social media, I field questions, I run the ticketing link, I pay people out… I’m sure there is something I’m forgetting on this list.

Photo credit: Dena Denny

What can folks expect from a night at LaF?
Late and Funny does, in fact, begin late, around 11:00 p.m., but what an exciting time to be awake on a Friday! The weekend is here! Kick it off with something easy on the knees and truly entertaining from beginning to end. You can order drinks and food IN THE THEATER from The Nicollet Diner and it will be brought to you while you enjoy the show. A host will come and kick things off and comedians of all kinds of funny will be performing hilarious sets for about ten to fifteen minutes each. Sometimes, a comedian will even workshop new jokes and the buzz in the air is especially exciting then. Eventually, our host will let the audience know that the show has ended, but if they want to continue their excitement, they can bop right over and enjoy food, drink, and conversation over at The Nicollet Diner. No two weeks are the same!
Who are your comedy heroes?
Most queer comedians and Nicole Byer. Oh, and Ali Wong too! Well, I could give a list but that sounds like a lot of work and I’m incredibly busy BUT I do love watching all types of comedians do their thing and grow. Two of my local heroes are Khadijah Cooper and Miss Shannon Paul. If you haven’t had a chance to catch them, run, don’t walk to do so.
What is a day in the life of Denzel Belin like?
Well, I wake up every day and hope that the snowbank in my parking lot has finally melted. I think that will be my true first day of Spring. But there are a lot of things that can happen in the life of Denzel Belin. I have a day job at MPR News. I produce a comedy show at The Saloon that will be weekly starting in May. I write and perform at The Brave New Workshop. I’m a freelance actor, writer, director, improviser, insert-whatever-here. Lately I’ve been trying to wind down before bed with a book to rest the eyes. I’m currently reading Blue Heaven by Joe Keenan.
What do you hope to accomplish with LaF?
I want to create a 360° incredible experience for everyone involved. I want the audience to walk away energized by the comedic talents they saw on stage and excited to return. It is also important to me that the performers also feel taken care of and communicated in a professional and kind way. I want my behavior as a producer to be as best as it can be and that is an ever evolving, ever learning and growing path.  
What is on the horizon for you?
Can you believe I’m directing a show right now? I’m working with Minneapolis Musical Theater putting up a hip hop adaptation of Othello called, “Othello: The Remix”. The music of this show is so incredibly good, it has me interested in a Shakespeare tale. That opens on April 21st at the Phoenix Theater. You can also catch me at the Renaissance (which I spelled right on the first try) tour in Minneapolis. I’ll be the one trying not to lose their voice while dancing like rent was due yesterday.
You have been a cast member at The Brave New Workshop, newly named Dudley Riggs Theater for a number of years. How has that experience shaped who you are today?
The latest show lists me as a “veteran” along with Lauren Anderson, so I guess it has been truly, a number of years. Working at The Brave New Workshop changed my life in a drastic, never-saw-it-coming kind of way. I developed so much of myself as a comedian, a performer, and an artist through my years at The Workshop. And now look at me, making money doing comedy AND able to pay others to perform on my shows. Dreams really do come true!
Anything else you want our readers to know?
My venmo is @dwbelin and I turn 30 this year. Buy me a coffee? Lord knows I need it.
Also, make some time in your life for some comedy! A good laugh is good for the soul!

Late And Funny Comedy Night
Roxy's Cabaret • 11PM
Every First Friday 

Jill Bernard is one of those comedy stars that shines so bright she lights the way for others to shine even brighter.

March 29, 2023

It is a rare opportunity to get to see her solo show: Drum Machine, so make sure you get to HUGE this Friday! Huge Improv Theater is located on 31st and Lyndale in Uptown and makes for a great date night! Jill Bernard is a founding member of HUGE and is a fantastic actor, teacher and human being. She has helped thousands of people develop a love for improv and quite possibly find themselves along the way. Improvisation is a magical art form and Jill Bernard is a legend. Make a reservation for tickets today and read on to find out more about Jill!

When did you start improv? 
I like to say my informal beginning was when a friend and I were hosting a variety show at Coe College. I said, “Hey Jen, what if we didn’t write scripts for the in-between parts, what if we just played characters and made stuff up?” But the year after that I moved to Minneapolis and auditioned for ComedySportz in 1993, so that was my real start.

When you started improv did you know right away that this would become a passion in your life or was it a slower build?
Oh I absolutely knew this was it. I was a theater major but already a little disenchanted with scripted work. When I found improv it absolutely felt like everything I loved or was good at had led me to this place. 

Drum Machine is a one woman fully improvised show-What other description would you use? 
It also features a musician, most of the time! Kelly Shuda is playing with me during this run. I like to say ‘we’re about to do a sweepingly epic one-person historical improvised musical.’ The audience laughs at that improbability, and then we do it. 

How many countries have you performed Drum Machine in? 
I want to say 21 but I just saw an article that said 24, so now I’m confused. Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the USA; how many is that? 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to create an improvised solo show?
You are the subject matter expert in the subject that is you.  The show should be a combination of everything you love and are inspired by. It has no obligation to resemble anything existing and can be influenced by absolutely anything you feel passionate about.

How do you "Yes, and" yourself?
Ha!  “Yes, and” is a little improv jargon that means to say YES to other people’s ideas AND build onto them. I think as human beings we can be too quick to cast off our own ideas as wrong or silly. To ‘yes and’ yourself is to let something silly be the correct answer. I made a blog of some ways to practice that:

What can people expect coming to a show at HUGE Theater?
You can buy your tickets ahead at to save some time. Doors will open 30 minutes or so before the show and you can sit anywhere you like. There will be no script for anything you see, but there are endless ways to solve the puzzle of how to make theater or comedy when you don’t have anything planned to say — so every show you see will be unique in that way.

You are an amazing improv teacher as well as a performer! What do you love most about teaching?
Thank you! I am really into how it is a collaboration between teachers and students. There are some exercises that I’ve been teaching since 1997, but they’re always going to come out different, with fresh results and new lessons based on who is in the room today.  

How can people find out about classes?
Visit! And sign up for our classes mailing list here.

What should people try in an improv class?
Try to reserve judgment on yourself, to just play without categorizing what you do as good or bad, or funny or unfunny.

What is your favorite memory of performing Drum Machine?
In 2013 I did a show in Würtzberg Germany, and I was a little homesick and not feeling great, so I did a show that was very  sad, about a mother sending off a small child to be brave. The whole room was weeping and afterwards people kept telling me how it reminded them of their relationships with their children or their parents. We say all the time that improv can be more than just comedy, but it was so fascinating to really feel that lesson.

Are you reading anything right now?
I’m reading “The Grammar of Fantasy” by Gianni Rodari. The great improvisor Feña Ortalli in Madrid recommended it, and Bill Sobolwski found me an English translation. It is a little book about how to make up stories, it is delightful. 

Drum Machine runs through April, every Friday.

Joshua Diaz is a fantastic force of nature!

March 29, 2023

Joshua Diaz is a fantastic force of nature! He is a trained opera singer and is currently working on his dissertation at the University of Minnesota. He has appeared on the popular drag show Flip Phone and knows how to rock mascara and lipstick on even the rainiest of days. It is impossible to put Josh in a box as being one thing or the other and he likes it that way! 

Where did you grow up? 
San Angelo, TX. My dad was a choir director and I grew up in a very traditional Mexican family. 

Have you always loved music? 
Yes! Music has always been a part of my life and I always connected with it.

How did your family respond when you came out as a gay man? 
My parents have always been supportive about a lot of things. Like me getting involved with music. They always 100 % supported me. Never a question. When I finally came out to them, they struggled a little bit, but mostly because they were devout Catholics. Over the years we have navigated some speed bumps together but they never cut off any conversations I wanted to have with them. So that is fantastic. I have to give them a lot of credit.

You mentioned finally coming out to your parents. When did you come out?
I didn’t come out until I was 26. I think I always knew I was gay, but with my up bringing I just didn’t think it was a possibility for myself. I figured I would just throw myself into my career and music and that would be enough. It wasn’t until I was in my master’s program at Peabody Conservatory which is smack dab in the middle of the gayborhood, that I started seeing a life were I could be out. Being surrounded by people who were just living freely and happily and gay was an eye opener. I wanted in.

Do you have any exciting projects coming up?
Now I am working hard on finishing my dissertation for this semester. After that is done and I can check it off the list, I am looking to be involved on more queer stages. My dissertation is about Mariachi music and I would like to bring that to chamber music. It would be amazing to rent a big space like Northrup and be able to pay musicians to make my dream a reality and to bring this style of Mariachi music to Latino communities. 

Do you still consider yourself a Christian?
Yes, very much so.

How have you found that to be as a queer man?
I came to realize that being gay doesn’t mean I am broken or damaged. I was born this way. In the image of God, so there is nothing wrong about me. I came to terms that God loves me and I must love myself. I also learned to give chances to people ho I didn’t think would be open. Because nearly everyone in the church I cam out to was very accepting.

If you had a Real Housewives tagline, what would it be?
You might think that I am fabulous and you’d be right.

What is your make up style?
I'd say I wear heavy make up but not heavy enough it looks like I forgot my wig.


Sex Therapist Jackie

March 15, 2023

Many people struggle with issues regarding sex, whether body image, gender identity or a myriad of other reasons, sex isn’t always easy. It can also be challenging to talk about and many people struggle with how to articulate their feelings to partners and sometimes even to themselves. Sex therapist Jackie wants you to know that you’re not alone and there are many resources out there to bring you to a better place. It is Jackie’s mission to help people get their groove back! I loved interviewing Jackie! Here is what she had to say!


The Black & Funny Improv Festival is a joyous celebration! 

March 15, 2023

HUGE Theater has always been a leader for diversity and inclusion in the Twin Cities and has given many marginalized artists a chance to showcase their talents. It is not a surprise that The Black & Funny Improv Festival would choose to host their event at HUGE.

Get ready for some amazing talent, spectacular shows and incredible workshops! Jada Pulley & John Gebretatose are organizers of this event and pillars in the improv community and fantastic human beings! I was so happy to get a chance to speak with Jada about the upcoming events!

What can folks expect from The Black and Funny Improv Festival?
The Black and Funny Improv Festival is a 5 day extravaganza of workshops and performances from top-tier talent from the Twin Cities and across the globe. Expect to see a thriving and welcoming community. And, of course, expect to laugh! 

When did this festival begin?
This festival was founded by Alsa Bruno and John Gebretatose in 2016. It started as a small one-day festival of local improv. It has since expanded into a small international franchise. There’s a Black and Funny Rhode Island and there have been Black and Funny events as far away as Canada!

Are white people welcome?
White people are welcome. In fact, White people are encouraged to come. They have a lot to learn from Black performers, and we shouldn’t be the only ones uplifting ourselves! 

What is your favorite part of The Black and Funny Improv Festival?
That’s a toughy since I love it all. If I had to pick, I’d say my favorite part is the sense of family that is present as soon another Black performer walks in through the door. It often feels like we’ve always known each other and this is just another cookout. In years past, after-show karaoke became a bit of a tradition, so I’m excited for that to return. 

Are there any workshops available?
Yes! There will be EIGHT workshops. From strengthening stage presence, to sketch writing, to character work, specific forms, and straight up diagnostics, there is something for everyone. If you’re newer to improv, or even brand new, don’t be intimidated. Every workshop will be a supportive space for you to experiment in. If you’re interested, but can’t afford the price tag, worry not. Just reach out to us at, and we’ll get you taken care of.

Tell me about HUGE Improv Theater?
Aside from my own apartment, HUGE Improv Theater is my favorite space in the Twin Cities. HUGE is an artist-led, non-profit hub of improv community. It offers classes, jams, and performances. They’re moving into a new building this year, which will be pricey, but ultimately allow them to do even better work. If you’re into that, consider throwing some money to the birthplace of the Black and Funny Fest. 

What are some of the benefits of doing improv?
Improv can be a life-changer. It was for me. It’s been my main source of community since moving to Minneapolis and it is downright therapeutic. To know that people have my back as a queer Black non-binary person in a way that will just let me be my silly little self is amazing. It’s really helped me with my confidence. Honestly, I could evangelize about improv for hours! 

Are you performing during The Black and Funny Improv Festival?
Heck yeah. Catch me with Based On A True Story and Blackout on Wednesday night. There’s also some All-Star Mixer Shows I might make an appearance in. But whether or not I’m on stage, I’ll be there just about the whole time!

Anything else you want us to know about BFIF?
Please go to for tickets and more information.

Review: The Tina Turner Musical 

March 10, 2023

 Tina: The Tina Turner Musical was full of showstopping singing and dancing that made you want to get out of your seat and shake your tail feather! It was also full of some moments that made you want to weep. It is hard to share a story of domestic abuse and make it palatable for audiences. This production weaved both the stark reality of Tina Turner’s abusive life with Ike Turner and her triumphant spirit and dynamic performance skills. This cast was out of this world.

The set design starts with the simplicity of Tennessee living and quickly transforms to busy streets in St. Louis, recording studios and the bright lights of the stage. It was a visual delight. The costume design helped tell this story with amazing design and color palettes. The best part was the shiny, shimmery dresses that Tina Turner was known for wearing on stage, just barely covering her backside. I felt transported to a Tina concert when the dancers started moving and grooving.

Skye Turner plays the young Anna Mae and opens the show with joyous and infectious singing. Her pipes rival the grown adults and cut through the theater like a blaze of glory. She expertly showcases the indominable spirit of a young Tina Turner and starts this musical off with gusto. Naomi Rogers, plays the adult Tina and honored the dynamic musical career of this music legend with drama and incredible vocals that elevate every scene she is in.

The supporting players easily jump in and out of various roles giving this musical heart and grit, two things that describe Tina Turner perfectly. This musical leaves you feeling amazed at what Tina accomplished, in awe of her spiritual growth and inspired by the determination of one amazing woman who lost herself, found herself and skyrocketed to global success. I give this musical two thumbs up! 

A couple more shows left! Get your tickets here!

Autumn Summers is shining bright with her new show PHAT! 

March 1, 2023

Autumn Summers is shining bright with her new show PHAT! Autumn is one of my favorite queens and I am delighted to have watched her come up in the scene. Autumn brings a biting comedy and has a hard work ethic. She is one of the best comedy queens in the twin cities and I was so happy to sit down and chat with her about her new show! 

You have a new show at the 90’s called PHAT! Tell me what people can expect from the show:

PHAT stands for Pretty Hot And Tasty! People can expect plus size entertainers, with acts ranging from drag queens, drag kings, showgirls, comedy, burlesque and more! PHAT is every second Saturday of the month at 9pm, before The Ladies Of LaFemme drag show. 

What do you love about The 90's?
The community and amazing relationships I have made.  The 90's Wednesday night talent contest was my training and learning experience into the world of drag, where I not only met future friends, but my drag family. 
Who are your drag idols?
This always changes! There are so MANY amazing idols in the world. What inspires my personal drag? Ladies from the 80's, Charles Pierce (drag performer), Miss Piggy from the muppets, Aubrey Plaza, Joan Crawford. Now, when it comes to who am I a huge fan of in general? Alaska Thunderfuck, Trixie Mattel, Sasha Colby, Bailey J Mills, and Juno Birch
What is the biggest challenges drag queens face right now?
Bills being introduced to stop us from performing, or being in the public eye. Not only drag performers face this but trans people, simply for existing. It is very hard to face, but we cannot, and will not be erased. We are not going anywhere. 
What is your biggest drag accomplishment?
I still want to accomplish more, but personally I feel very accomplished with my makeup skills! I used to have no idea how makeup worked or how to apply it, thankfully I have a much better understanding. This august will be 8 years since I began drag! 
Why do you do what you do?
The same reasons why any actor or actress would go on camera, or onstage to an audience. We love to entertain! Taking people out of their troubles for just a few moments so they can laugh and not take life so seriously. 
What advise would you give to new entertainers?
Get as much experience as you can, work hard, have fun, be respectful, think of what inspires you to do what you do, and run with it! 
How would you describe your act?
I come out looking gorgeous, and I do mashups of spoken word monologues from your favorite movies, and then suddenly it will go most likely into a song that is SUPER gay. Vice versa. 
If you were any flavor Kool Aid what flavor would that be?
Sharkleberry Fin. You kinda like the taste of it, but not ALL the time. But when you do have it, you are like "Oh. It's not that bad!"
How can people reach you?
Instagram (@autumnsummersmn), Facebook (queenautumnsummers) and please feel free to check out my website!

Hold on to your podcasting pants Paula is coming! 

December 07, 2022

Paul Poundstone will take over the Fitzgerald Theater to talk to us about all things Paula! I had a delightful conversation with her and you better believe I will be there! From earth worms to Butterfingers, we covered it all! Read on below and make sure you get tickets today!

You’ve had a lot of success with your podcast, Nobody Listen’s to Paula. It was voted “Best Waste of Time” three years running. How do you feel about that?

Success. What’s that word? I think that’s a great description. 

What do you love about podcasting that differs from standup comedy?
I am very shy. And I have been able to you know, do kind of half-baked things, that I would never have the nerve to bring on stage. But with Adam and Tony and Bonnie, I can do it, you know? I can do characters I never would try. It is like yelling into space. That’s the good news and the bad news. The bad news is that is rarely feels gratifying, but the good news is it isn’t intimidating. 

You have a “Butterfinger” rap on sale on your website. Tell me more.
Well, it is $1.00. It is a social justice rap. I was on the road and I got picked up by the pickup person and I asked if they would stop at the gas station. When you’re on the road, it is much like you are a teenager. You don’t have a car and you must get driven everywhere. So, I was stocking up on snacks to bring to the hotel when I saw Butterfinger chips. It was so exciting because they didn’t have them many places. I got in the car, and I am just delighted, you know? I’ve got the world by the tail. I put it in my mouth and it is just gross. I look for an expiration date, figuring it must be expired. I ask the driver to turn around so I can get a new bag, no big deal. And that‘s when I spot it. Words that put fear into my heart. With a red arrow, it points to two words: improved recipe. It turns out that the company that makes Butterfingers was bought by another company and they changed the recipe and now they weren’t even edible! Why take something where there was pleasure, that doesn’t need to be changed and fuck with it? Especially in a world where so many things need to change. So that was the jumping off spot for the song.

Do you have any holiday traditions?
I used to go to New York all by myself to a Broadway show every year for Thanksgiving. That was probably my favorite way I have ever quote unquote “celebrated the holiday.” You just took all that stuff out of it and took advantage of having an extra day off.

Last time we chatted you were volunteering at a nursing home. Are you still doing that?
No, not with the pandemic. But I did start another volunteer job at some friend’s kids’ school where they had a pop-up food bank. It was a lot of fun. It was a lot of my social life. We got all of this produce from organizations whose missions were to provide the city of Los Angeles with healthy food. Unfortunately, a lot of it would go bad and we couldn’t give to people to eat. Well, all of that waste had to be composted and the school that was doing it said they couldn’t do it anymore. So, I volunteered to do it and that is how I started my worm farm.

Your what?
Yes, I have a worm farm. I sell worm waste online for $4.00 a pound plus shipping. Often times the shipping often costs more than the warm waste itself. I give them a pound of warm waste and a video where I show some part of my worm farming process and introduce them to the worm that I need after them. I think I make something like a penny a week, but I enjoy the heck out of those worms. 

If you love Paul Poundstone or you are willing to be taken in by her clever wit and unassuming charm, run don’t walk to The Fitzgerald Theater, December 10th!