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Archive for the tag “Liza Minnelli”

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.

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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.

Hurricane Fay and weird relationships of the 1970s.

The strengthening of tropical storm Fay down in the southeast makes me think of two things: (1) I’m glad I don’t have to go through the hurricane brouhaha this summer, the stocking up of H20 and toilet paper, the checking of the windows and all other pertinent batting down of hatches. (What are hatches? Why not latches? It makes perfect sense).

And (2) that no matter how many times I remember this bit of trivia, I will not be able to digest it: Volatile actress Faye Dunaway was once married to the lead singer of the J. Geils Band.
Peter Wolf and Faye Dunaway in the 1970s

Yes, Peter Wolf, the gentleman who pranced about in videos for songs such as “Freeze Frame” and “Centerfold.” Lest we forget his solo smash “Lights Out.” He and Mommie Dearest were husband and wife from 1974-1979.

But, then, so many strange bedfellows came from the 1970s: Gene Simmons and Diana Ross.

Liza Minnelli and Peter Allen.

Bob Marley and Vogue editor Anna Wintour (I must have missed the season when dreadlocks were a must-have fashion).

Linda Rondstadt and Governor Jerry Brown of California.

Governor Ronald Reagan and the State of California. Yes, the Dems voted for Cowboy Ronny. I think California only goes Republican for movie stars. See: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

They always say the drugs were more potent back then and sometimes I don’t doubt it.

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