Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for July 2009
BY Brandon Voss
July 07 2009 12:00 AM ET
Michael Urie in Celebrity Autobiography
He may not like discussing his sexuality, but Urie had no problem lending his talents to the "Gay Pride Edition" of Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words on Friday, June 26, at the Gramercy Theater. The premise of the ever-morphing show, which plays most Mondays at the Triad uptown, is simple: Celebrities try to keep straight faces as they read from the autobiographies of other self-important celebrities. Joining regulars such as Kristen Johnston and Jackie Hoffman for the extra-queer event (George Takei's To the Stars was on the reading list, and out actor B.D. Wong read from Madonna's Sex), Urie brought to life a disturbing passage about tampons from Miles to Go by Miley Cyrus.
Urie was busy chatting up some cute fans outside the theater after the show, so we didn't get the chance to meet face-to-face. I did, however, catch up with frequent Autobiography reader Rachel Dratch, who'd earned some of the evening's biggest laughs by voicing Frankie, the "Bonus Jonas" Jonas brother. When I spoke to Dratch last month for Advocate.com, she had blamed her gay friend Ryan Shiraki for ghostwriting her mildly offensive Out article. Dratch now told me that Shiraki, who had also been in the audience, was a bit miffed that she'd "sold him out" in the interview and that I'd printed her admission. "I'm not going to tell him you're here," she whispered before running off to join him and her entourage. Like I'm scared of the queen who wrote Spring Breakdown.
Dixie Longate in Dixie's Tupperware Party
Nick and I were back at the Gramercy the next night for a drag show doubleheader. At 7:30 p.m., Dixie Longate, a Southern-fried female impersonator from Mobile, Ala., showed off her colorful wares for a Pride edition of Dixie's Tupperware Party . But Dixie's obsession with airtight plastic storage isn't just a gimmick; she's actually America's most successful Tupperware salesperson. Dixie spent most of the evening harassing a straight security guard who couldn't work a can opener, and she squeezed in a few good "rimming" jokes when she pitted a gay couple against a straight couple in a lid-sealing speed contest. The winner of a lottery drawing, Nick scored a Tupperware keychain that Dixie claimed was great for hiding a shot of liquor from the cops. How could Tupperware bigwigs not love this broad? But my favorite moment was when someone's 9-year-old son cornered Dixie after the show and asked, eyes wide and innocence waning, "Are you a boy?" Unfazed, she responded, "What a silly question to ask such a pretty lady!"
Jackie Beat in Without Me You're Nothing
We stuck around for the 9:30 p.m. show from an equally pretty lady in Jackie Beat: Without Me You're Nothing, Jackie Beat's nod to Bernhard's seminal act. Jackie's shtick is simple: Making "Jolie" look like a nursery rhyme, the irreverent Los Angeles-based drag queen replaces the lyrics of pop songs with her signature celebrity-skewering filthiness. (An ode to bestiality titled "I Kissed a Squirrel" is a crowd pleaser.) While the famously Photoshopped Mariah Carey made for a safe target with "Retouch My Body," the inebriated audience (particularly a Canadian couple at our table who'd bought tickets to Jackson's comeback tour) wasn't ready for Michael Jackson jokes. We held our collective breath (someone even cried out, "Too soon!") as Jackie skirted the taboo topic, saying with mock-gravitas, "We lost someone very special recently..." Luckily, she was just lamenting the demise of Chastity Bono's femininity as a segue into her latest ditty, "He/She Chastity," set to the tune of Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves." Sample lyric: "She was born in the body of the opposite sex, and now she will trade in her boobies for pecs."