"As a friend, I hate when she gets into trouble. As a comic, I'm next in line whenever she gets fired. I'm blowing up Anderson Cooper's phone: 'Girl, what are you doing New Year's Eve?'"Margaret Cho talks about good friend and colleague Kathy Griffin.
Since it's Carnival Week in Provincetown, you know where I am. When I'm not having more sex than you can shake a stick at ( or whatever they were shaking at me ), I'm seeing tons of great shows. Even if you aren't anywhere near Cape Cod, these people regularly tour the country and will likely hit your locale sometime soon.
I made it to the tip of the Cape just in time for Marilyn Maye at the Provincetown Art House. To say she's better than ever is an understatement. Yes, she's my dear friend, but this woman's voice cannot be equaled by people half her age. While I'm always amazed at her power and range, this year it was the quieter moments which struck me as incredibly delicate and yet totally controlled. She definitely fills the stageand the entire room.
Sexy Steve Grand is also at the Art House all season. While his rippling physique is probably better known to most of my fans than his voice, they will be pleasantly surprised if they buy a ticket for his show. His vocals are secure, and his self-written material is enjoyable if not somewhat repetitive. What makes his show work is how well he connects with his audience. It's intimate. You kinda feel like you're in his living roomwe should all be so lucky! You can see a clip from his show on BillyMasters.com .
Every year, I think Varla Jean Merman can't top herselftry and get that picture out of your head. But every year, the material is fresh, incisive, sharp, and on target. "Bad Heroine" ( also at the Ptown Art House ) focuses on female role models throughout history, and it's hysterically funny. It's even educationalI came out learning something. Take that, PBS! The costumes are outrageous, the vocals are spot-on, and the entire show is a massive delight for all the senses.
The cherry on the cake at the Ptown Art House is this season's Ryan Landry play. His 5 To 9 is a spoof on 9 To 5, is set in the Trump White Houseand it works extremely well. The cast is also sublime. Landry channels Lily Tomlin's tightly wound Violet to a T, Varla Jean Merman goes places Dolly Parton never dreamed of and Peaches Christ makes Jane Fonda look like a schoolgirl. Larry Coen is a lascivious and clueless Trump. And in many ways, Penny Champayne steals the show as Kellyanne Conway, Melania, Ivanka, and even Roz. Atta girl! Tix for all these shows can be found at PtownArtHouse.com .
If you follow this column, you're probably sick to death of all the mentions of the hunky Rick Murray and the Crown and Anchor. But one upcoming show deserves some mention. Billy Porter is returning for two shows Aug. 19-20. Having seen his previous Ptown outing, I can tell you not to miss the chance to see this phenomenal artist in such an intimate setting. You can get tix at OnlyAtTheCrown.com . And if you miss him in Ptown, here's an exciting announcement Billy and his original castmate Stark Sands are returning to the Broadway production of "Kinky Boots" on Sept. 26. This will be a strictly limited return through Jan. 7. I guess you can go home again!
All of you who have been waiting with bated breath for ABC's live production of The Little Mermaid on Oct. 3 will have to keep waitingit's been "postponed." And I would not recommend holding your breath. I think "postponed" is code for "cancelled." "The project is so unique that we are making best efforts to do it next year and want to give it all the attention it deserves." Like mermaids, I'll believe it when I see it.
On the other hand, FOX will bring us A Christmas Story on Dec. 17. You may know that the beloved holiday film ( which, believe it or not, I have never seen ), was made into a Tony-nominated musical. This live TV presentation will be of the musical, with a twistit will feature some new songs written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, composers of Dear Evan Hansen. They've even wrangled the great Maya Rudolph to play the mother.
The upcoming London production of Hair is offering a clothing-optional performance. The audience members will get the opportunity to strip during the Act 1 finale. Note to selfbring a paper seat cover to this show!
Someone who usually shocks by shedding her clothes has actually shed her hair! Kathy Griffin just shaved her head. No, it isn't some misguided homage to Sinead O'Connor. She did it in solidarity with her sister who is undergoing chemotherapy to fight a tumor. Mama Maggie tweeted a photo and wrote, "My daughter Kathleen Mary is a wonderful human being." Well, now we know who is actually writing Kathy's mother's tweets!
Three people just filed a suit against Usher claiming that he gave them herpes through sex. What caught my eye is that one of the three people is a guy. While some media outlets call this a "frivolous lawsuit," I'm not so sure. The plaintiffs even engaged the services of celebrity attorney Lisa Bloomwho recently repped Kathy Griffin during her fatwa. And once again I tied this whole column together.
Our "Ask Billy" question comes from Darren in Las Vegas: "Friends of mine tell me Tyson Beckford had a wardrobe malfunction at The Chippendales at the Rio. True? Are there any photos?"
Well, we've featured every inch of Tyson Beckford before, so why not do it again? After all, it's time for summer reruns. As to the slip at the Chips, well, you can see something swinging around on BillyMasters.com .
When we're bringing you a "dick slip," it's definitely time to end yet another column. Even though I'm technically on vacation, you can still find the freshest dish on BillyMasters.comthe site that never goes down. If you're here and wanna hook up ( or if you just have a question ), drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Tyson shakes his stick at me! Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.