Showing posts with label Mona Lott. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mona Lott. Show all posts

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Best Of Times Is Now! La Cage Aux Folles Premieres Tonight

By Mona Lott

“Remember, your eyebrows don’t have to be twins, just sisters,” elicited a laugh from the rather small dressing room stage right that houses the “Cagelles” in Ignite Theatre’s current production of La Cage Aux Folles. I got to spend some time with the “girls” during their first dress rehearsal as I was asked to come in and give them some basic instructions in “drag” makeup. For those of you who are not in the know, La Cage Aux Folles, at over thirty years old is the masterpiece of Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman and features a chorus of boys dressed as girls, known as The Cagelles and a leading lady who, like The Cagelles, is a man.

IgniteTheatre will bring this show back to life when it opens on Friday August 14th at The Aurora Fox.

A show that has been sitting on my “bucket list” for some time, I was thrilled when my husband of over twenty years was cast as the husband of the star attraction Albin and owner of the club that houses Albin and her bevy of beautiful show girls. Georges the character is a whole “Lott” like the actor portraying him, Jim Hitzke . Being married to a drag queen and creating all her costumes in real life gives Hitzke more than enough life experience to draw on as George. Hitzke looks at John White, who plays Albin, when he says, “we just put the face of our husbands on each other” while describing how they have managed in creating the characters Georges and Albin.

White is rather new to Colorado. Having moved her seven years ago from Florida where he had a long career with Disney performing among other things as the costumed character, The Queen Of Hearts, La Cage Aux Folles is his first show since coming to Denver. White states that he had decided to take some time away from the stage, but when he saw the casting notice for La Cage he thought, “that could be fun, why not give it a try?” Hitzke, on the other hand, is a long time Denver performer having recently tackled roles in Urinetown, Spamalot and The Drowsey Chaperone. Directing these two accomplished performers is Denver director, Bernie Cardell.

When asked about the challenges in casting this show Cardell states, “Finding the right Georges and Albin is always a challenge with this show. You’ve got to have two men of a certain age who can sing, dance, act AND have that spark of chemistry between them. We got very lucky with two talented men who showed up to auditions.” That “certain age” Cardell speaks of is one that makes possible having a twenty something year old son who is about to be married, as in the character of Jean-Michel played by Darren Koehler.

Jean-Michel, the biological son of Georges and the much loved “step” son of Albin comes to see his father early on in the play announcing his engagement to the daughter of some very conservative parents. To make matters worse, Jean-Michel’s future in-laws are coming to have dinner with Georges. Therein lies the crux of the show as Jean-Michel in an effort to shield the in-laws would like his “surrogate” mother Albin to leave for a couple of days.

For those of you who have seen the movie, “The Birdcage” this may all seem rather familiar as the movie is based on the same 1973 French Play that the musical is also based on. The play by Jean Poiret was adapted by Fierstein with music by Jerry Herman and made it’s Broadway debut in 1983. Since then it has lived many resurrections including a 2004 Broadway revival, a 2008 London revival and another revival in 2010 that at one point featured Fierstein himself in the lead role ofAlbin. La Cage Aux Folles is the first musical to ever win two Tony Awards for Best Revival and a best musical for the original production.

So I asked Cardell, in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, why bring this show out of storage again. Cardell answered, “One of the first things I said to my cast at our first rehearsal was, Love wins.” He went on to tell them that, “love wins” would be the theme of the production, that the Supreme Court decision was a momentous occasion and a show that features a gay couple who have been together for over twenty years is a great way to celebrate that. White echoed those sentiments stating that the court decision had not come out yet when the show was auditioning and that Ignite was smart in choosing to do the show now. Hitzke agreed saying that the show represents so many of the kind of relationships that will benefit from the ruling on marriage equality.

Being a show also of that “certain age” I asked them all what they had done, if anything to make the show more relevant. White states that they have updated a line or two with the name of a more modern celebrity, just to bring it more up to date. Cardell said he’s given it a more modern setting which will help the themes come through to a younger audience.

White went on to explain that playing an iconic role like Albin was a challenge just in trying to make it his own and not a copy of any of the stars who have played it before. That is a huge challenge, considering that George Hearn won a Tony in the original production as did Douglas Hodge who won The Laurence Olivier award in the 2008 London Revival and a Tony in the 2010 Broadway revival. Hitzke has his work cut out for him as well, taking on the role ofGeorgesin the shadow of Gene Barry, Van Johnson, Peter Marshall, Robert Goulet,KelsiGrammer and George Hamilton.

My makeup tutoring session with the Cagelles came to a somewhat clumsy end as the “girls” hurriedly tried on costumes for the first time, discovering that they might have some uncomfortable shaving to do before opening night. I quickly gave a few last second tips to a few of them who still lingered as “places” was called for the rehearsal. Next time you should soften that crease line a bit more and be more bold in those highlights under your eyes, I suggested to one and have fun I told him…errr her. Fun is the operative word when I asked Hitzke and White why anyone would want to come to this show. Cardell elaborated by stating, “This is the type of show that will make you forget anything bad going on in your life.” “Run for tickets” he says, “Run!”

La Cage Aux Folles runs Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 PM and Sunday afternoons at 2:30PM from August 14th to September 6th. Tickets can be purchased at 866-811-4111

Mona Lott is an entertainer performing regularly in clubs, theaters and seedy bars. To laugh at her OUTstanding comedy follow her on Twitter at, friend her on Facebook at or stalk her on

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mona Lott Sez: That's Offensive!

By Mona Lott

I love drunk women, they’re so fun and happy and easy to sell into white slavery! We’re you offended? Good, then I did my job as a comic. Why were you offended? Is it because you’re a woman who gets drunk way too often, or is it because you’ve been sold into white slavery, or is it because you’re just an uptight jerk with a sphincter so clenched that if turds were footballs you’d never fumble! Sorry if I just offended turds. 

Frankly, I’m kind of tired of people getting offended lately. Actually I’m more offended by the way they react to being offended. It’s as if being offensive to someone or some group of people means you are evil personified and should not be allowed in public anymore or even in Congress! Being offensive is simply, according to Google, “causing someone to feel deeply hurt, upset, or angry.” So what is wrong with that? You can hurt someone by simply telling a guy in a bar who just bought you a drink that you’re not interested. Not that I’ve ever turned any guy down in a bar. But I have been rebuked by a few poor unfortunate souls. You can hurt someone by strategically placing a screwdriver attached to a block of wood under an ex lover’s sofa cushion but, wait a moment, I don’t think that’s the kind of hurt Google meant. Though if you are in the market for hurting someone in that way I have a cousin named Vito ... You can emotionally hurt someone by simply breaking off a long term relationship, especially if you tell them in a text message that "It’s not you, it’s me." And hell, I’m sure you’ve made plenty of people angry just on the drive to work this morning. So why have cries of “that’s offensive” become so damn full of pretentious importance as of late?

Maybe we should ask that gay pride event in Scotland that banned drag queens because transgendered folks might be offended. Did you catch that? They banned drag queens because transgendered people “might” be offended, not because they were, but just because they might. Being offended is just a part of life, folks. And frankly, if you are offended by a drag queen, then maybe the problem is you and not drag queens. The same goes for those butt clenching morons who get offended when a woman pulls out a boob in public and feeds her hungry child. You’re offended? Oh well, I’m sure you will get over it. And those black folks who were so offended by the confederate flag in South Carolina ... oh wait, now that’s a bit different. Is it, you ask? Well, yes it is because it’s not offensive, it’s malicious.

Malicious, does that make a difference? You bet your sweet ass it does and here’s why. Malicious as defined by Google is “characterized by malice; intending or intended to do harm.” See, though a transgendered person (notice how I didn’t say 'tranny' in fear of offending someone) might be offended by a drag queen, they are not in danger of that queen causing them harm, unless of course they step on her fucking dress. Then it's all bets are off. And I’m betting the word “f**king” will get edited in this article because we might offend someone. But really, I think this is the line you have to cross in determining if a particular behavior or word or item should be banned or not allowed. 

The fact that someone or some group might be simply offended is not enough to eliminate it from everyone else. Yes, it may be insensitive and it may show the stupidity and small mindedness of the GOP ... oop,s I mean of the person spouting the offense. But if it’s not malicious then it shouldn’t be banned. Is the confederate flag offensive? Maybe it is, but even moreso, it’s malicious. After all it was a battleflag used by the side that fought and killed in an effort to continue enslaving a whole race of people whose only offense was being born a different color. It’s malicious in its use since then by the Ku Klux Klan and ignorant, backwoods, cousin marrying morons to taunt and intimidate black folks with the threat of harm to themselves and their families. 

So is it offensive then when some bible thumping, four-time divorced clerk in Texas says she thinks gay marriage is wrong. Yes, it’s offensive to me. But it is it malicious? No. But when she refuses to do her job as mandated by the Supreme Court it crosses the line of offensive into malicious territory. By taking away a person’s equal rights you are intending harm and that’s why I hope she finds herself in jail for this. 

So yeah, I’m offended every damn day, by religion, conservative politics, and coworkers who think they’re hatred for themselves should be directed at me. And will I post offensive remarks and jokes about the Pope and Mike Huckabee and that bitch in the cubicle next to me who doesn’t seem to realize that the whole office can hear her personal phone call to her therapist? You bet your ass I will. Will some people be offended? Sure they will. Do I care? Hell no I don’t because I’m not promoting a wish to kill them or break their knees or throw them in jail. Well, I might call my cousin Vito about that bitch in the cubicle next to mine. Anyway, it’s time to quit giving so much power to being offended. Lighten up folks, unclench and fumble a football once and a while.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

You're Invited to a Party, a Psycho Beach Party!

By Mona Lott

“Come stoned to this show,” Krystal Jackson yells out as the cast enthusiastically discusses what makes Psycho Beach Party worth coming to and responds to my question about how to sell it. The answers leading up to that comic outburst were more practical, telling me that the show is a “great laugh” and full of wonderful characters and “gender bender fun.” Admittedly that’s enough to get this drag queen to buy a ticket, but as I got to chat more with the director Stephen Tangedal and his lively, charming cast I was impressed at just how many other reasons there are to go see this show when it opens at The Crossroads Theater on Thursday, July 9.

Psycho Beach Party is a play by Charles Busch that spoofs those Gidget-led movies of the 1960’s and then tosses in some Hitchcock type thrills on top. Chicklet as played by Anthony Adu in this production is the leader of this romp on the beach and sports a very blonde wig as if to say "Barbie has arrived!" Of course this Barbie has multiple personalities and issues that Gidget never had to face. Tangedal, with a wink, remarks that every one of the cast members was typecast in this show even though that remark was followed by several, “not me” utterances from the cast. Truth be told though, when I walked into the room and was asked by Adu, “What character do you think I’m playing?” I immediately answered, “I’m guessing Chicklet.” 

I can spot a drag performer from a mile away! 

I’m assuming anyone could spot Hektor Munoz who plays Chicklet’s mother, Mrs. Forrest. Munoz stands (and I’m guessing) at six feet five inches and is desperately trying to get his hands on a pair of women’s size 18 pumps! When asked about how the drag roles have influenced this show, the cast was quick to reply that it’s just like playing any other character. Adu made a point of explaining that he has tried to find the truth in the character and is playing her as a real woman and working at not just being a boy in drag.

I knew after that answer that this cast is not just having fun, but are truly putting a lot of heart into the show. It was easy to see that they have a love for the characters and for each other with an assortment of answers to the question of who they would like to play if they weren’t playing the character that they are cast as. In true “Show Girls” fashion Daniel Wheeler who plays Yo Yo pointed a rigid finger at Adu and blurted out how he wanted to play Chicklet and had previously auditioned for the role several times. I warned Wheeler not to take the stairs when Adu is around. Ironically, the only male member of the cast who has never tried drag, Todd Moore, who is cast as Star Cat, was at ease with the honesty of admitting that he would like to play Mrs. Forrest. With a list of characters as diverse as the actual cast of this show, I could imagine them all spinning a wheel to determine just who they would play each night and an audience that would come back every time to see the mix.

Tangedal previously directed this show over twenty years ago and in his cast then was Shelly Bordas. Bordas, as Tangedal fondly remembers, was a much-loved member of the Denver theater community who lost her battle with breast cancer last January. Bordas’ young son will benefit from two added performances on July 24th and 25th with proceeds going towards his college fund. When asked why he decided to direct this show again, Tangedal mentioned Bordas and stated that he thought it was time to laugh again and to just have fun. It was obvious that this show holds a special memory of Bordas for Tangedal and her presence is sure to be felt during these added performances.

The remaining performances benefit the The Denver Element a part of Mile High Behaviorial Healthcare. The Denver Element states on their webpage that, “Our work, while building community, is to reduce the transmission of HIV through education of the gay and bi men in Denver on HIV stigma, Status Disclosure and Intimacy.” 

Cast member Anthony Fay spoke very eloquently detailing all the added services that The Denver Element includes, like social events and assistance for gay men with drug habits. Fay is doing double duty in the show as the assistant director and the character, Provoloney and was quick to add to the discussion of why people should come to this show, “It’s only ten bucks!”

Considering all the people who will benefit from this campy delight and the sheer evening of summertime joy and laughter that Tangedal and his cast are sure to deliver, the reasonable price point is only a small part of why people should come to this show. A bigger part of why to see this show is the camp and fun of reliving those beach blanket romps and the over the top, bigger than life characters being played out in gender bender style and the opportunity to try and figure out the mystery of “whodunnit.” And it that doesn’t influence you, there is an Opening Night luau on Friday July 10th with food and the possibility of getting lei’d! 

Psycho Beach Party runs Thursday, Friday, Saturday at Crossroads Theatre, 2590 Washington Street July 9th through the 25th with a special Cast Benefit Night on Tuesday July 21st. Tickets can be purchased in advance at here or at the box office.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Memoirs Of A Gay Show: The Return of Denver Pride Comedy

By Mona Lott

I remember several years ago when every June not only brought us PrideFest and a Pride Parade and Pride Day at Elitch's, but it also brought us Pride Comedy with the Laugh Out Loud Comedy show. This was before text messaging so the show title was actually spelled out as opposed to being just LOL. It was a lot of fun, bringing nationally touring gay comics to town like Bob Smith, Kate Clinton and Suzanne Westenhoefer. I found it very refreshing to laugh at comics who weren’t being misogynistic or homophobic like the more popular comics of the time, for example Andrew Dice Clay and Sam Kinison. Both were funny comics, Kinison being a favorite of mine, but neither of them drew the sort of cruisy, hot crowd that the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show did. For me though, it was realizing how much we all had in common and being able to relate to the comics and their stories and for once being allowed to laugh about being gay from our own point of view that made this event one of my favorites.

I miss those shows and those comics. Clinton and Westenhoefer are mostly doing shows on the East Coast and Smith, I was sad to discover, has stopped doing stand-up due to the progression of ALS which he was diagnosed with in April of 2007. I’m not sure who was producing those shows back then and I’m even less sure why they stopped. I would hazard a guess though that the decline in the popularity of stand-up comedy in the late 90’s brought an end to those annual shows. But comedy is having a resurgence and gay comics are much more mainstream these days, so I wondered, why not have a gay comedy show for Pride week again here in Denver?

So I presented the idea to Amy Jenssen King at The Denver Improv. I also suggested to her that I create a float for Denver’s Pride Parade promoting the show and the club. King loved the idea and I was off and running, well as much as a 300-pound drag queen can run. I was also proud to be representing The Denver Improv for Pride as this club has been more than gay friendly to me in the past and well worthy of being exposed to the gay community in a positive light. Though the club is known for booking more urban type comics they also booked my show, “Stripped Down Stand Up” for several months as well as my friend Chuck Roy (who let me feature for him when he headlined his own show there). Roy is a popular Denver comic who hosted Film On The Rocks for many years and is now featured in Ralphie May’s Filthy Animal Tour on Hulu. I was thrilled to have Roy agree to sling some jokes in my Pride show, 'Memoirs Of A Gay Show' playing on June 24th at The Improv.

Roy found me almost three years ago doing stand-up at a popular gay bar on Colfax and asked me to perform in a show he was booking at a gay bar on South Broadway. This led to a show we worked on together for several months featuring myself, a transvestite comic and a transgender comic, or, as we referred to ourselves, The Holy Trinity Of 

Chuck Roy
Cross Dressers. That bar is now gone and so is the show, but Roy and I have remained friends and continue to do shows together. So I decided to ask Chuck some questions for this article and found myself intrigued by his answers.

Mona: When did you first start doing comedy?
Chuck Roy: I first tried to tell jokes when I was all alone in my parent’s living room. I hooked a microphone up to my Dad’s tape recorder and improvised 45 minutes of "comedy." It was terrible, all cursing. Not much has changed! My first real set was July 27, 1992 in Boston.

Did your material identify as gay when you started or did you keep that hidden?
I came out on stage in 1994. The guy who owned the show fired me. Jimmy Dunn was in the office and raised Holy Hell. He called everybody. Greg Fitzsimmons, the headliner of the show, called the club owner and said if I wasn’t on the show he wasn’t leaving New York. The best club in Boston called me and said, “What happened to you is unfair. You work here now. Try your bits, gay, straight, whatever. We know you are funny.” All that from Jimmy Dunn, the best mentor a Bear could have!

Do you think of yourself as a gay comic?
Fuck yeah! I’m “Bearly” gay and wicked proud of it. Frankly, as soon as Joe Biden forced President Obama out of the closet on gay marriage then things got a lot easier to tell jokes. At just about that time I was learning to use ‘date night’ to relate to the audience. If I talked about ‘dating a girl named Steve’ then the audience could relate. The more I related to the audience about dating in a genderless, numberless way the more the audience agreed that it was the funniest approach.

Do you think there is a lot of homophobia in stand up?
Fuck yeah there was, until Todd Glass cut ‘em all down. I’ve never heard the podcast interview he did to rip apart homophobes. I just hear their private apologies.

Have you ever been heckled by someone for being gay. How did you handle it?
Yeah, do you mean gay people heckling me for saying ‘fags’ or bigots heckling me because they hate fags? I still have a bruise from a fight with a bigot last November. I’ve steeled my nerve and readied my fists 1,000 times to tell jokes. It wasn’t easy in 1994 to try gay jokes in South Boston or Northern Maine but I did. Every time I failed I got back up again. I still do. I win a lot of heckles. And since Joe Biden changed the nation I’ve shown homophobic hecklers that they are outnumbered. It’s not about the bruise or the fight in November, it’s about the audience that insisted I finish my set while cut up and bleeding. “You tell your jokes, Bear!” Nobody thinks it’s cool anymore to be homophobic. You can have your opinion but to shout out hate during a comedian’s routine? Not a lot of audiences are going for that lately. Unless it’s you performing, Mona. The audiences want you to become a Republican.

HA!! Yah right. How do you think the comedy scene in Denver is in regards to gay comics and gay acceptance?
I moved here because I thought Denver audiences would be the first to enjoy my using the word ‘boyfriend’. Now, I think that’s true. People in Denver go to shows, any kind of shows, with a lot of gay acceptance. I don’t think the audiences here really care about gender, race, sexuality, etc. They care about quality. As far as the Denver comedy scene goes, I quit that shit about a year ago. The Denver comedy scene is irrelevant to the audience. People go to a comedy show to see outstanding comedy. I don’t think they give a shit about the Comedy Prom Committee or who’s commenting on Facebook.

I hope Chuck wasn’t referring to me and my love affair with Facebook. Though I’ve never been on any Prom Committee, I do post ad nauseam on my page and you are welcome to friend me there or follow me on Twitter, both being full of plugs for my show, 'Memoirs Of A Gay Show'. 

Stacy Roquemore
Stacy Roquemore is also booked to do some “gay comedy” on this show and recently posted on his Facebook page, “My view point is that funny is funny! As subjective as comedy is, I think it's my responsibility to bring a voice to the stage that represents the LGBT in a positive light.”

Roquemore is a Denver comic, who recently returned from the West Coast where he was developing his chops and racking up credits. A comic who easily reads gay, Roquemore states, “… to be a comedian who is gay and puts it out there, is hard as hell to pull off, with all the people who try to keep you pigeon holed into a tiny bubble, even though your jokes are solid and well written.” But Roquemore doesn’t let that stop him and continues to progress in his career and build a fan base.

As for myself, I love being openly gay and appearing on stage in drag gives me no other option. I haven’t found any hatred directed towards me on stage for being a stand-up comic drag queen, with the exception of one drunken guy who yelled out to me, “Where are you from, Oz?” I shut him down quick by retorting, “When I want to hear you speak, I’ll pull my dick out of your mouth!” But mostly I find a great deal of acceptance, if also confusion, when I walk onstage. I usually address it fairly quickly, though, and put the fire out. I actually address people in the audience who have that look of shock on their face and tell them, “It’s ok; I’m just a drag queen.” Then I joke with them and make them feel relaxed and I think it gets them on my side. I don’t do a lot of what I would call "gay comedy" anyway. I mostly joke about pop culture, my weight, celebrities and some politics. I find that my biggest fan base is middle aged women who ask me for makeup tips and swoon over my jewelry. When I do play a gay crowd though, it’s great fun as I can relax a lot more and they allow me to make a lot more fun of the straight people in the crowd. I’ve had to sit through some homophobic sets from other comics, but I always take them to task when I get on the stage and I think I may have shamed a few of them into cutting those jokes from their sets. I think the more authentic I am, the more the audience is ready to go with me regardless of how different I may be.

And so yeah, a Pride Comedy Show is back, this time with local gay comics who will make you laugh and hopefully give you something to relate to. You can see all three of us, myself, Chuck Roy and Stacy Roquemore on the Denver Improv Pride Float this Sunday and you might even get some valuable coupons to see our show, 'Memoirs Of A Gay Show' on June 24th.

'Memoirs Of A Gay Show' plays on Wednesday June 24th at The Denver Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater. The club is located at 8246 Northfield Blvd Unit 1400 at Stapleton North and you can reserve tickets by calling 303-893-4100. Mona Lott is a drag queen stand-up comic and has been seen on Comedy Central, The Game Show Network and NBC. Named 'Denver's Outstanding Drag Queen' by OutFront for 2014 she is more popular than ever!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Urinetown: The Musical - Pee Before You Go

By Mona Lott

Why didn't you go before we left? That's going to be the question of the night if you attend Urinetown: The Musical at The Bug Theater. Not because there aren't toilets, but because you have to pay to use them and the attendants can be a little surly, if you know what I mean.

Luckily, Equinox Theater provides you with your own bathroom token at the box office, knowing that the joke will only go so far, even though that very joke sustains a full two act show with infectious music and toilet humor that kept me smiling to the very finale!

Urinetown was the brainchild of Greg Kotis who was inspired upon encountering a pay toilet during his European travels as a student on a budget in the late nineties. He went on to write the book and the lyrics with Mark Hollmann, who also wrote the music. The show hit Broadway at The Henry Miller Theater in September of 2001.

A musical about a drought that makes peeing in private a luxury that no one is allowed due to corporate greed and laws that require the poor and downtrodden to pay at public toilets was definitely a hard sell for Kotis, but thanks to the New York Fringe Festival, Urinetown got it's break and went on to be nominated for a Best Musical Tony in 2002.

Equinox's production is tiny, crammed onto the small stage at The Bug Theater, but it doesn't stop the rather large cast from making the most of every inch on the stage. Especially striking is some very clever choreography created by Colin Roybal who also directs this exuberant production. The ensemble is excellent, especially when they join together in harmony on "Look At The Sky." Most notable is Tim Luoma as Hot Blades Harry, who brings great conviction and energy to the second act in "Snuff That Girl."

Bobby Strong, the young protagonist who becomes a rebel leading a free pee uprising, is played by Kalond Irlanda.Though he brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to the part of Bobby, he is almost swallowed up by the sheer magnificence of the character; a character named by the New York Theater Monthly as one of the 100 greatest roles in musical theater. Also on the list is the role of Hope Cladwell, the daughter of the evil corporate mastermind controlling the public urinals and the girl who steals Bobby's heart. Carolyn Lohr plays Hope with a keen sense of comedy, making sure every note of humor is played with reckless abandonment, though it is obviously very well controlled by a competent actress.

Officer Lockstock, in the hands of Dave Gordon, is the narrator of the story doing double duty as the policeman on the prowl for felony urinaters who he sends to the sinister sounding Urinetown. Gordon, who possesses a gorgeous deep bass of a voice, is accomplished in the role though he didn't quite make the sly, winking connection with the audience that the character demands.

The veterans in the show are Jim Hitzke as the corporate creep, Caldwell B. Cladwell, and Shahara Ray as the hapless, hard-as-nails Penelope Pennywise who is relegated to managing Public Amenity #9 in a sort of self preservation. Hitzke is sleazy in all the right ways, making you love to hate him and Ray commands the stage from the instant she appears. Both bring grit and antagonistic goodness to the show with excellent voices and strong characterizations.

Equinox has a hit on it's hands with Urinetown, masterfully directed and choreographed by Colin Roybal. It runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 through June 6th. The songs are full of joy and the show contains enough jokes to keep you laughing till you have to pee, though you'll need a token to do so!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Need A Hero!

By Mona Lott

I’ve been under attack since I was a kid. The Gallegos family three houses down would throw snowballs at me, but they wrapped them in rocks first. Russell Harmon pushed me off my bike on my way home from first grade so he could beat me up. Mike Donovan tormented me every day in 7th grade gym class until I finally couldn’t take it anymore and I threw a full can of Arid Extra Dry spray deodorant at him narrowly missing his head and screamed, “LEAVE ME THE F**K ALONE!!” That temper and my sense of humor combined created a force shield so powerful that in high school they didn’t even bully me in person anymore, they wrote nasty shit on anonymous notes and had them passed to me so I didn't know who they came from. By the way Simon Suarez, I knew.

Now I’m approaching the ripe old age of fifty and even though those childhood wounds have healed leaving faint scars, I’m still being wounded every day. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom law and makes intolerance and discrimination against the GLBT community legal. POW!

Then Ted Cruz, in one of many anti-gay statements, declared, “We look at the jihad that is being waged right now, in Indiana, and in Arkansas, going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman." Sucker punch. "Hey, look over there!" BAM!!

In April, 700 Club leader Pat Robertson warned that if the Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage, Christians in America will soon be “the victims of vicious, vicious attacks,” just like the angels who visited Sodom and were nearly raped by “virulent homosexuals.” WHAP!!

GOP Presidential hopeful, Ben Carson, makes the statement, "How I feel and what I think isn’t just my opinion. God in his Word says very clearly that he considers homosexual acts to be an ‘abomination.’" ZING!!

“Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method ...” was in a ballot initiative submitted in March by California lawyer Matt McLaughlin. POW!! BANG!! ZONK!!

Earlier this week, US Cardinal Raymond Burke stated, ‘If homosexual relationships are intrinsically disordered, which indeed they are … then what would it mean to grandchildren to have present at a family gathering a family member who is living [in] a disordered relationship with another person? "If it were another kind of relationship – something that was profoundly disordered and harmful – we wouldn’t expose our children to that relationship, to the direct experience of it.’ And neither should we do it in the context of a family member who not only suffers from same-sex attraction, but who has chosen to live out that attraction, to act upon it, committing acts which are always and everywhere wrong, evil.’ KAPOW!! BIFF!! ZAP!!

And yesterday Bobby Jindal signed a newly refined law in Louisiana protecting businesses that refuse to serve same sex marriages. ZING!!

I need a hero!! No, strike that. I need a gay super villain who can live up to all the evil vile deeds that these so called God-fearing morons are accusing the GLBT community of. We are attacking Christians, even though many gays and lesbians also identify as Christian. We’ve been accused of making children gay, just by being in their presence, even though I don’t ever remember being around anyone gay until years after I had decided I was. Gays and Lesbians have been accused of causing floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes. We’ve had the proverbial finger pointed at us as the catalyst for World Trade Center bombings, the Boston Marathon bombing and now, even a tragic Amtrak train crash.

Isis and her pretty headband
So it's become obvious to me that we are very powerful!! We have superhuman abilities that allow us to make foreign extremists carry out horrendous acts of terror. We have fairy tale magic that turns straight children gay; though I can’t fathom why we don’t use this magic in Hollywood on, say, Joe Manganiello or Ryan Gosling instead.

Like Isis, no, not that one, the pretty one with the headband from Saturday morning cartoons back when we had Saturday morning cartoons, we hold power over Mother Nature and the winds and the sea! The religious right is afraid of us; they are worried that we will make them all disappear long before the rapture has the opportunity.

So I propose that we all become Gay Super Villains!! I want to be called Rapture. Yes, like the Christian end of times, but even more like an overly floral scented perfume by some aging movie star or like the feeling I get just before a guy engulfs the whole of my being with in mouth. Pick your own Gay Super Villain name but I call dibs on Rapture.

Then create a costume built for the Gods, one that RuPaul would gag on and would make Bob Mackie drop to his knees in defeat. Grab your glitterbombs and put them in that utility belt and don’t forget a dildo of death, cock ring of torture and a cat o' nine tails for those moments when you’re alone with your Gay Super Villain sidekick.

Now head on down to the steps of your Capital Building or to that soapbox in the city park or to the gilded doors of the local Catholic Church and wreak havoc! Proclaim your evil desires while stroking the bald pussy in your lap and poking your pinky finger into the corner of your mouth. Lesbians, don't get mixed up; this isn't that kind of a protest! 

Call out Carson and Huckabee and Bobby Jindal as your arch nemesis and warn them of the coming doom you are planning. Dare them to try and stop you. Have your henchmen spring on the crowd and spray them with glitter and announce that you have now turned them gay. Call down the powers of the wind and threaten to destroy the whole town with a tornado powerful enough to turn Miss Gulch into an evil witch. Laugh maniacally and run around with your cape billowing behind you! Yes, own it! Be the Gay Super Villain they already see us as and if that doesn't finally stop the attacks, then get me several cans of Arid Extra Dry!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Meet Mona Lott, MileHighGayGuy's Newest Blogger!

Absolutely delighted to announce that my favorite drag queen in all the land, Mona Lott will now be covering the entertainment beat on MileHighGayGuy. 

A performer who has been entertaining for almost forty years, she will be reviewing most anything dealing with pop culture as well. Theater, movies, comedy, fine arts, television and music will be on her radar. Keep an eye out for her upcoming review of Equinox Theatre Company's Urinetown!

You can also expect to hear her comments on just about anything in the news affecting the GLBT community.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mona Lott: Drag Empress of Denver Talks Upcoming Projects, RuPaul's Drag Race, and the History of Drag

By Drew Wilson

Westword says she's "less of a Drag Queen than a Drag Empress" and Out Front named her 2014's Outstanding Drag Queen. Now, Mona Lott is gearing up for her biggest year ever as she launches a new show, works on a web series, and revs up her engine for a possible run on RuPaul's Drag Race.

Drew: Mona, you're everywhere. You must be the hardest working drag queen in Denver!
Mona: I love being busy. I always say I’m not happy until I’m so busy I’m miserable. Basically right now I have three shows – bingo, Stripped Down Stand Up, and now the game show. I’m also working on trying to get booked on some cruise ships. Oh, and I just started working on a web series

Wow. Tell me about the new show.
Mona Lott's Big Fat Dirty Game Show is gonna be a ton of fun. It's the game show for the socially unacceptable!

With my bingo show we used to play little side games like strip-bingo or swing-that-thing where we tied strap-on dildos to people who would have to use them to knock over bowling pins while blindfolded. It was so much fun I just thought, why not put together a game show without the bingo? 

Have you always been such a go-getter?
I’ve been pursuing acting since I was in junior high school. The best advice I ever got was when I read a book by someone who basically said "don’t wait around for someone to cast you in a show, don’t wait to be discovered by a director, get out there and put on your own showcase'. I realized that for me to sit around and wait for somebody to book me is a waste so I just started putting my own shows together. 

It started in Vegas. I was living in Vegas and working as a singing gondolier at The Venetian. We got laid off for six weeks and I read a book on how to be a stand up comic. Then I saw a casting notice that came out for stand up comics and I thought what the hell I’ve got six weeks to come up with something so wrote a set and put together Mona Lott. I went and auditioned and ended up doing the show for two years.

From there I went into LA and did The Comedy Store and The Improv. I also did The Gong Show on Comedy Central, 1 Versus 100 with Carrie Ann Inaba and some other things

You make me want to be a more productive person. So tell me more about Mona Lott.
She’s pretty raunchy but not actually dirty. It’s mostly innuendo and wink-wink. She just says and does anything she wants to do. I had a guy tell me once that he thought a lot of drag queens were scary but there's something about Mona that's charming and not scary. I think that's perfect.

How long have you been in Denver?

I grew up in Denver. It’s my hometown. Then my partner and I lived in Vegas for six years and we’ve been back now for about three years. We had a big debate because I wanted to go to Los Angeles and he wanted to come back to Denver. Of course, in my heart, I wanted to come home to Denver, too. But I wanted to go to LA because everything was popping and my career was taking off. 

I thought if we came to Denver my career would be over. But we came back to Denver and I’ve actually gotten more work and more money than ever before. Denver’s really a hotbed for comedy right now. It’s competitive with New York and LA. So much comedy and so many comedians. There are at least one or two open mic nights every night of the week and different comedy shows every night of the week. It’s really amazing.  

What are your shows like?
I play to a lot of straight audiences, particularly straight women. And I’ve been heckled but you can turn them around if you can make them laugh and show them, like, I’m not a threat to you and you’re not a threat to me. You make them laugh about universal things and the things that make them think they're against you and you can turn it around. I’m a 300-pound man in a dress. Let’s joke about it. We're all people just trying to get along. You can accomplish so much with humor. I got out of so many fights in junior high by being funny.

Casting for season 8 of RuPaul's Drag Race was recently announced. Do you follow the show?
Follow it? I live for it! The first season I actually had a casting agent contact me and ask me to submit. So I submitted a video and didn’t hear anything for like eight months. Then I got an email that they were considering me but they wanted more information. So I answered some questions and sent them back but never heard anything. 

Then the next year they sent me another email and said they wanted me to submit again. Submitted another video. Didn’t hear anything.
When I finally saw some of the submission videos from the queens who were actually on the show I was like 'Oh, that’s why I’m not on the show'. My submission videos sucked. They were so bad. 

So now we’ve really been working toward getting on the show but now the submission and video requirements are just crazy. She wants to see 10 different looks; walk the runway; lip synch to two of her songs; perform another talent; she wants to see your match game celebrity. It’s crazy involved. That’s kind of how my web series came about. I was just looking to do some music videos for my songs and I thought I could use them for my submission tape and put them on YouTube but once I started getting the crew and everything together I thought, why stop with just a music video? Why not do a sketch comedy show with music videos as a segment?
Sharon Needles and Jinkx Monsoon

Who are your all time favorite contestants?
I really liked Sharon Needles when she was on the show. Since then I’m not that big of a fan but when she was on the show I really liked what she was doing. The fact that she was showing up the others who were giving her such a hard time ... like that Phi-Phi whatshername. Oh, I hated her. Little miss Phi Phi. 
Phi Phi O'Hara

And I really liked that one that won the next season - Jinkx. I didn’t understand all the girls on her season who got so mad at her. They kept talking about, 'oh, these girls with all these tricks keep winning' and I was like, you mean those tricks like talent? Tricks like singing and acting and comedy? Why are you mad about that? She’s winning because she’s more talented. The ones you should be mad at are yourselves for not being able to sing or act or whatever!

Right? If there’s anything I hate it’s being in a competition with people who are better than I am!
Jinx showed them what real talent is! Drag isn’t just about putting on a pretty dress and flouncing around. 

What would you say drag is about?
I actually wrote a long letter to Liz Cheney when she made her remarks about drag being offensive

The fact of the matter is that drag came about because there was a time in the country when you couldn’t be gay and you couldn’t be out. That’s when we first started talking about each other as 'she' and 'her' and talking about our boyfriend as our girlfriend because we had to hide it from people who weren’t in the know. 

That way you could talk openly by saying 'oh, I’m going with my girlfriend tonight' and your friends knew what you were talking about but the bigot next to you didn’t. And I think that’s where drag kind of came about. And that's how Stonewall came about. You weren’t allowed to have two men dancing so if one of them could do drag and pass as a women you were ok to dance with them. 

I get so mad when I hear people every year during Pride talking about 'why does the media focus on drag queens? That’s not who we are. They don’t represent us'. You girls better get on your frickin’ knees and thank these drag queens for what they’ve done. They do represent our community. You wouldn’t have this parade if not for those drag queens back in 1968!

Amen. 100 percent.
Drag queens are on the front lines of every fight there is - look at the Imperial Court here in Denver. These queens are doing shows all the time to raise money for gay students, AIDS, Project Angel Heart, you name it! And I don’t know how many thousands of dollars I’ve helped raise. Since January I’ve done two charity shows to raise money for MS. I get so mad when I hear people talking down about drag queens. 

Preach, sister. Is there anything else you'd like to say?
Yes, I’m jealous of you and all your twitter followers. You must have a big dick.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Stripped Down Stand Up With Mona Lott Tonight!

Mona Lott (pictured left) does drag queen bingo differently. Her Stripped-Down Stand-Up show pits strippers against comedians and the audience wins either way. If the comedian gets a laugh, the stripper strips, but if the comedian bombs, the comedian must take something off. Sounds like my kind of show!

Check out the Halloween edition of the show tonight at the Denver Improv. There will be a Sexiest Costume Contest so wear your most revealing costume and you could win a fabulous prize.