Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Honeyed Ethel Merman on Broadway!

After the above networking party, I rushed home to change wigs and re-touch make-up and glamour girl, TV correspondent Lady Clover Honey was transformed into Grand Diva Ethel Merman! It was time to for the highly anticipated Broadway event celebrating what would be Merman’s 99th Birthday! The event took place at the theater where the hit musical The Big Voice – God or Merman? is running. The show was wonderful, touching and laugh-out-loud funny! Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin have made fantastic theater out of the drama of their lives with the autobiographical musical. Looking up to great dames of the Theatre and listening to show tunes can be divinely inspirational. It reminded me of all the problems I’ve gotten through as a child while
listening to my pare
nt’s Ethel Merman Gypsy album over and over again that I kept hidden beneath the rock records. The show demonstrates how multifaceted the connection with God can be for Gay men. But the show’s message is genuine: Whatever inspires joyous, reverent passion in you, therein lies your religion.
After the performance, there was be a Merman-off costume parade hosted and judged by the legendary Marge Champion and Donald Saddler. Marge directed Ethel as Dolly when she went into the show and Donald directed Ethel many times including her famous show with Mary Martin. Empress Gefil TaFish was there to hand out prizes and she was fabulously dressed up in an exact replica of the Dolly Levi costume from Hello Dolly! The role of Dolly was actually written for Ethel Merman and she did eventually play Dolly on Broadway after, Carol Channing, Mary Martin and Pearl Baily. I ended up winning second place in the contest! Everyone was surprised but delighted that the winner of the Merman-Off was a GG (that’s Genetic Girl in Tranny slang) Lisa Berman who wore a fabulous sailor suite replica of Ms. Merman’s costume from Anything Goes. After the Merman-Off we all had refreshments including a gigantic cake decorated with a replica of the Don Bevan caricature of Ms. Merman from Sardi’s restaurant.
Photos: Lady Clover Honey and Empress Gefil TaFish as Ethel Merman, Birthday cake