Tag Archives: Ben Lerman

All About New Year’s Eve

Here’s a chat I had with Tom Kelly published in The SF Bay Times on December 24th, 2009. Hope you can all come to my NYE show if you’re in town. It’s always a good time.For Tickets go to http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/86090

What better way to ring in the New Year than with laughter? And there aren’t many people on the planet who are wittier than SF’s favorite funny lady Marga Gomez. Named “Best Comedian 2009” in the SF Bay Guardian readers poll, she has appeared on stage, film and television. For a great time… go see Marga at The Marga Gomez New Year’s Eve Spectacular.

(Bay Times) I hear you have a love affair with the City of San Francisco. Care to comment?

(Marga Gomez) I wouldn’t really call it a love affair. I have more of a sexual, torrid crazy apache dance with San Francisco. It’s like that movie Nine and a Half Weeks, and I’m Micky Rourke and San Francisco is Kim Bassinger. I’ve tried leaving San Francisco many times for other cities like New York and LA, but I always come back. Like I always say, “I wish I knew how to quit you.”

Movie references aside, yes, I love San Francisco. It felt like home from the moment I landed on Castro Street as a 19-year-old baby dyke from Manhattan. Everyone was creative here, even the postal workers. I got involved with queer comedy at the Valencia Rose in 1984, and that was it. I found my calling. I wanted to be a famous lesbian comic, so I could meet women.

This is your 6th annual New Year’s event with Theatre Rhinoceros. Why Rhino?

New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday of the year ever since I was a kid. My parents were performers, and they would come back from their NYE shows with party hats and noisemakers and party favors for me. I dreamed about being a NYE performer, the one at the center of the celebration. It’s always cool to say you have a New Year’s gig when you are a performer. For six years The Rhino has hired me for what is truly a dream NYE gig. I get to perform at The Victoria Theatre, a beautiful former burlesque house, for 500 or more people who are in high spirits but not drunk that I can tell.

I began working with Rhino because I was impressed by their history as the longest running queer theater in America. They have produced three of my shows in the last ten years and have been there for me. I want them to thrive, and these New Year’s Spectaculars help that along. Plus, they have a very sexy audience at these shows, and you know we include NYE countdowns at random just to see our audience kiss.

How will this year’s Spectacular differ from previous ones?

This year will be more spectacular. I will do a completely different hour of comedy than I did last year. But Sarah Palin will still be trashed. Before I take the stage, we will feature not one opening act, but three of the most exciting new gay comics on the scene: local rising sensations Natasha Muse and David Hawkins and – flying in all the way from New York City – ukulele comic Ben Lerman. I can’t wait to hear the audience go nuts for these kids. By popular demand DJ O’DJ will be back spinning live before both shows.

Will there by nudity?

Nudity? Ben Lerman and I are partially nude in some of our publicity shots. If anybody gets naked at the show, I hope it’s our emcee John Fisher, the Artistic Director of Theatre Rhino. I bet he has a nice butt.

Why do you think we should start 2010 laughing?

Because if you start out crying, you’ll ruin your mascara. And 2009 was just ridiculous.

Marga’s photos by Kent Taylor. The Marga Gomez New Year’s Eve Spectacular plays Dec. 31 (Thurs 7pm and 9pm) at the Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th Street, San Francisco. For tickets call (800) 838-3006 or at brownpapertickets.com. More info at therhino.org.

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EDINBURGH FRINGE – DONE THAT

My high tech interview for Grace The Spot by Ally Maxwell

My high tech interview for Grace The Spot by Ally Maxwell

I am winding up my Edinburgh Fringe after 25 shows and dozens of guest sets here and there at secret underground cabarets including the Underbelly where I descended 5 flights of stairs from ground level,performing sometimes to people who don’t understand English are very drunk or just incapable of laughing or who may have been ghosts. I have been able to say just about anything to these audiences- being gay is no big deal here and there are a lot of atheists in Europe. It is impossible to shock an Edinburgh Fringe audience. But having an American accent puts me at a disadvantage. They look down on us even Obama doesn’t help the George Bush effect. This is payback for me since I never liked Benny Hill. I got some press 4stars in the list and Scotsgay, favorable mention in the Groggy Squirrel (everyone’s a critic here even rodents) and I spoke with the infamous blog Grace The Spot you can read that interview here

Before climbing Arthur's Seat

Before climbing Arthur's Seat

I have taken one solid day to be a tourist and wandered around Holyrood Park climbed all the way up to Arthur’s Seat for a 360 degree view of the city on the only warm day in this damp cold month where you could be out without a coat. I have eaten Black Pudding knowing it was blood and oatmeal but only could handle vegetarian haggis.

Making it to THE TOP!

Making it to THE TOP!

After I climbed back down

After I climbed back down

I got to see some great shows and am still blown away by London’s Chickenshed performance of “Crime Of The Century” about knife crime among youth in the UK. Some of the guys in the cast had been coming to my show and I was finally able to check them out yesterday. Really inspiring physical theater. I wish I did that sort of thing. Also got to finally see my twitter friend Ben Lerman’s funny show at Café Renroc. He storms the ukelele and makes me want to be a gay guy. He also has a great flat here with Wi Fi and the two of us created a very dark blog at two in the morning. Got to know a funny latina from NYC a little better. Blanca Dominguez had a good laugh at her show Blurrr. Then there’s my new pal in London Sian Hutchinson who had a smashing success here. She’s quite sassy and I have some incriminating videos of her taken at the Pear Tree. But I can’t find them so here’s a picture of another dazzling performer I dazzled, Micaela Leon from Kabarett Berlin

Scotsgay's Jean Genie, Micaela Leon, amazing chanteuse, and me

Scotsgay's Jean Genie, Micaela Leon, amazing chanteuse, and me

The biggest secret hit here is a show called Cabaret Whore starring Sarah Louise Young at the ‘free fringe.’ This is an offshoot of the EdFringe you don’t pay to get in but you have to pay to get out- whatever you can but some performers are more skilled at getting the big pounds out of you. Like the lady who plays Cabaret Whore as an Edith Piaf rival wielding a knife she says “Performers come to Edinburgh to die” that’s why all the performers love her. If I ever came back here-not to die- I would do the free fringe. But I don’t know if I can do this again for 3 weeks. It’s a money loser and there’s no internet really. You have to go sit places and buy crap you don’t want to drink or eat (with the money you’re not making) to use WiFi and the signal is weak. And there’s no affordable vegetables fresh fruit or TV. But it was a great experience all in all and I’ll be very happy to be back in the uncouth USA.

Ben Lerman and I having some giggles

Ben Lerman and I having some giggles

Fish and Chips

I had fish and chips at 1 am last night then I watched two episodes of Ugly Betty on my lap top.
I have a thing for the fish and chips guy at Newington Fish and Chips. He was very nice to me when I left my flyers there and I decided should I ever succumb to fried food I’d go to him. He put brown sauce on my chips and malt vinegar. But if you want a ketchup or mayo packet there it’s an extra 25 p for each (approximately 47 cents)

Me and 80 women comics in Edinburgh. You can find me on top in the gold

Me and 80 women comics in Edinburgh. You can find me on top in the gold

I don’t know if this touring abroad thing is for me after all.  I like the cobblestones but they ruin my shoes. I don’t mind grey skies every day. Meeting people is nice. They’re so hospitable but it’s really hard to understand what they’re saying. And beer is fattening. Now that Obama is president there’s no reasaon to leave the US really. And it’s too late to tell the crowd pleasing George Bush jokes. I still am not able to get across the street without almost getting flattened by one of those demonic speeding double decker buses that look exactly the same in the front as they do in the back so I don’t know if they are coming or going like a two headed monster. I did shell out about $30 bucks for a weekly Lothian bus pass. Here they take your picture for the pass- like a drivers license. And if you don’t like the photo they retake it. I love my bus pass. Under my picture there’s my name and in big block letters ADULT. I showed it to Ben Lerman and he thought my picture looked like a cross between Ally Sheedy and Bob Saget. He should know he saw Ally Sheedy in the flesh. I’m going to try and see his show tonight.
The food is bad here and they don’t give you enough (except for fish and chips) but somehow I’m puffing out. And everything is expensive. But you can buy half cans of canada dry ginger ale at Tesco supermarket for 39 pence. That’s only about 75 cents. I’m becoming an expert converter of pounds to dollars. Just double the pounds and subtract a nickle. Walking to my gig every night- (Why didn’t I ask for a night off in my deal -one of my mistakes – which I am not at liberty to elaborate on) I pass the KFC. They are hiring. I think about applying for a job. I can print out flyers of me in my KFC uniform and make it a Fringe Venue.
Two more reviewers came to the show last night from Scotsgay and something else. I think I was pretty awesome last night but something went wrong with my hair during the show. When I got off stage and went to the disabled bathroom in the hall which I pretend is my dressing room I saw in the dim light -hair sticking out on both sides of my head like an antennae. Even if I don’t get the KFC job I am going to start wearing a hairnet.