So what was your process for writing this new show about the wonderful world of Jenifer Lewis?
Well, basically if it’s a one-person show, usually it’s about yourself. I mean, that’s why you do it. Some people will portray historical figures and that sort of thing, but shit ... I am historical! I can’t think of anybody’s life that goes on and on as fabulous as mine. So fuck ’em! I’m talkin’ about myself because that’s what I know. [Laughs] Besides, how are you gonna’ tell somebody else’s story?

The way I form my one-woman shows is I pretty much that I always pick up where I left off. In my last show I was 50 and now I’m 53 and I’ve done so much and I’m going to tell you all about it. From the Democratic National Convention to the inauguration to Hairspray and Hello, Dolly! plus I’m in love now ... so much has happened. So ya’ll get all those fabulous stories with footage and photos so for those people who are out there going, That ain’t true!, I can throw a picture in their face.

Without giving too much away, can you offer a preview of one of the highlights from Hot Flash?
I’ve written this song called “Shakespeare Ain’t Got Nuthin’ on Me” ... Don’t ask me to be or not to be, I be bitch! There’s the song. Is that fabulous? Now print that because anybody who’s gay who sees that will be at the door. I’m going to show out!

You have embraced and been embraced by the gay community from the minute you first set foot on a stage. Where did the love affair begin and why?
They embrace me because I embrace them. That is why. I think a lot of female entertainers who are true advocates for the community — the ones who really care — I think it comes across in their performance. I think when you sit and you really take in the Judy Garlands, the Bette Midlers, the Barbra Streisands of the world, I think there is a connection that can’t quite be defined.

Everybody wants to know why the gay boys throng to Judy Garland. It’s because they saw honesty. And that’s what people see in me. They see raw, uninhibited honesty. I don’t know anything else. I never have, and that’s why I have sustained and remained in this business.

Tags: Theater