Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Christmas with Murray Hill

I’m really excited. Some friends and I recently purchased our tickets for Murray Hill’s annual holiday burlesque variety show in Manhattan.


It’s become something of a tradition for a group of us to get together in the city and we have some dinner, then go see Murray and the beautiful Pontani Sisters, burlesque dancers.

Murray is actually a drag king – that’s right a woman who dresses like a man as part of a performance. Wisecracking Murray started to perform at small clubs in the city back in 1995. His old-school schtick — Murray wears an mid-century polyester suit and calls himself “Mr. Showbiz” — grew so popular, before long he was performing at parties hosted by Liza Minnelli and Joan Rivers. That’s Murray walking around town in The Gossip’s video for the single “Listen Up.”

Watching Murray perform is like going back in time and seeing some bastardized version of the Rat Pack. Last year when we saw the show, we sat at a table up front near the stage. Across from us, Laura Prepon (That ’70s Show) and her sisters and mother sat and laughed as much as we did. (In fact, Laura’s sister entered Murray’s dance contest!)

It was interesting to me to see this family of (presumably) heterosexual women finding humor in an over-the-top drag king/burlesque show. But, I guess funny’s funny and this is New York we’re talking about. People there are used to the offbeat.

So, we’re excited. It’s not Christmas without Murray.

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