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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 9, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 28
Cabaret legend Sharon McNight promises to offend
Arts & Entertainment
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Cabaret legend Sharon McNight promises to offend

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

Songs to Offend Almost Everyone
July 14-15
Julia's on Broadway


Cabaret legend Sharon McNight will bring her critically acclaimed show Songs to Offend Almost Everyone to Julia's on Broadway on July 14 and 15 at 8:30 p.m. Throughout the show McNight tackles the topics of society, sex, religion, hypocrisy, and lust in song and commentary.

"The show is called Songs to Offend Almost Everybody, so I cover a lot of ground," McNight told SGN. "It started as a joke that just took off. People like to laugh and there are poignant parts too."

The entire show is an updated party record from the 1950s made famous by artists like Belle Barth and Rusty Warren - only offensive and risqué.

"What to expect," she said, "is I will sing on-pitch and not throw stuff at the audience. It's a good time and a lot of laughs!"

McNight says she will cover songs by songwriters from pop to Broadway to country.

Fans of cabaret know McNight. She first rose to prominence in San Francisco's cabaret scene during the 1980s, winning five Cable Car Awards for Best Cabaret Artist in rapid succession. Since her rise to fame, McNight has been a Broadway Tony nominee, a Theater World Award winner, and winner of New York's coveted MAC Award for Best Cabaret Show.

McNight has appeared everywhere you could imagine. She's graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, theaters, concert halls, colleges, and cabarets from Los Angeles to Berlin.

Although Songs to Offend Almost Everybody will make its Seattle debut next week, McNight is no stranger to Seattle. "I used to play a place called The Depot in the early '80s," she recalled. "It was an old railway station. The Depot was owned by a family that also had a Gay restaurant called The Fox. My band and I appeared there several times. We performed the show on top of a railway car."

McNight is an advocate for the LGBT community. She says that she is indebted to Gay audiences because "we started out together in San Francisco when the sexual revolution was happening."

"It was a time to celebrate and fight for civil rights," she said. "I'm always ready to party and Gay audiences are more uninhibited and free-wheeling. I've always enjoyed the company of men, especially when there are no strings. It seemed a perfect fit."

"In the beginning, guys would bring their mother or father to the club to meet me," McNight said. "I used to introduce the parents from the stage - for many it was a way for them to come out to their family."

Over the years, McNight has performed in a number of shows to help raise money for LGBT organizations, including benefits in Seattle.

"I once performed at the Improv in a benefit for an AIDS hospice in Seattle. I had a friend in Seattle called Sicky Ricky who I met in San Francisco when I first started out," she told SGN. "They told me after the show that he had died in that hospice."

McNight was recently a part of the San Francisco Pride Parade for its 40th year. "My first parade was in 1978," she told SGN. "Several parades and AIDS benefits later, I was chosen as the first straight women to be the Grand Marshal in 1986."

Songs to Offend Almost Everybody promises to be a night of good, old-fashioned, dirty cabaret that you won't want to miss. To reserve a seat for the show, call (206) 334-0513.

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