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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 3, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 36
Drag superstar Varla Jean Merman spends an evening in Seattle
Arts & Entertainment
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Drag superstar Varla Jean Merman spends an evening in Seattle

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

An Evening With
Varla Jean
Merman
September 22
Julia's on
Broadway


You've seen her on the big screen in Girls Will Be Girls. You've laughed out loud watching her antics on MTV, E!, and Logo. Well, Seattle, now you're getting the chance to see drag queen sensation Varla Jean Merman live at Julia's on Broadway. On September 22, the loose chanteuse will bring her hilarious comedy and music revue, An Evening With Varla Jean Merman, to town. This is a show you won't want to miss!

Varla Jean Merman is a character originated and portrayed by Jeffery Roberson, an American actor, singer and drag performer. Varla is easily one of drag's most recognizable faces. SGN caught up with Varla to talk about her return to Seattle, live performances, and Fleet Enemas.

"I have only been to Seattle once a few years ago, and the audiences were amazing," Varla told SGN. "At one of the shows, I saw a beautiful and stylish lady in the third row. Turns out, it was a young man who came dressed as me. How flattering! So, I guess I now know how Cher and Carol Channing feel. It feels good, Seattle!"

Varla is always on. Throughout our interview, the drag superstar never missed a beat, making light of herself at every chance she could get. "I am going to premiere a new short film from my Don't Eat Out, Varla Jean! series, as well as perform a mash-up of Lady Gaga's 'Telephone' and Mozart's 'The Magic Flute' in which I accompany myself on my very own iPhone," joked Varla, adding, "I also will perform an explosive production number dedicated to my newest sponsor, Fleet Enemas."

Varla's style of entertainment could be described as shocking and self-deprecating comedy. When asked to describe her style to SGN readers, Varla quipped, "It might be easier for me to describe the theory of relativity - and I have no idea WTF that is. Let's just say that some things are better left to be experienced, like a sunset or a Brazilian & and I'm not talking about a waxing!"

Although Varla has been on cable more time than can be counted, she maintains that performing for a live audience is a thrill. "I love to see the people's eyes in the front row when my semi-celebrity saliva envelopes them in a cool mist, whilst my warm, dulcet tones curl up their ears like a friendly, purring pussycat."

Over the years, Varla has appeared onstage and screen with a good many entertainers. Surely, over a career that has spanned two decades, memories have been made. "Performing at the Sydney Opera house was definitely a feather in the old wig cap," Varla recalled. "But as a recent memory, my favorite was performing this summer in Provincetown one night, when a runaway wheelchair came careening down the aisle and took me out like a bowling pin. Seriously."

As you can gather, there's no end to Varla's wit. An Evening With Varla Jean Merman has filled concert halls and cabarets across the world, including Carnegie Hall, New York's Public Theater, London's Soho Theatre, LA's Renberg Theatre, and San Francisco's Victoria Theatre. For tickets to her September 22, 8 p.m. show at Julia's on Broadway, go to www.brownpapertickets.com/event/123795. At $25 for general seating and $40 for VIP tickets, the show will sell out fast, so don't delay. Dinner reservations are available before the show and can be placed by calling (206) 334-0513.

"I will be performing a couple of my classic chestnuts, but the rest of the show is completely different from my last performance in Seattle," said Varla. "And who knows? An Evening With Varla Jean Merman might turn into 'breakfast in bed with Varla Jean Merman' for one lucky ticket holder!"

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Cho-Dependent a hilarious night of comedy and music
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Drag superstar Varla Jean Merman spends an evening in Seattle
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