Elevate Difference

Queer Queens of Qomedy (08/01/2008)

Alexandria, Virginia

Lesbians, like feminists, have no sense of humor. Or so we’ve been told… repeatedly. Poppy Champlin and her troupe of hilarious women-loving-women are busting that stereotype wide open. In various venues across the United States, the Queer Queens of Qomedy are met with crowds of queer fans and a hail of riotous laughter. I joined in on the gayety this past Friday night at the historic Birchmere music hall in Alexandria, Virginia, and I must say I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. (Except that one time at dyke camp, but that‘s a different story.)

Champlin, the emcee and Queen of the Queer Queens, opened the show with a farcical review of the differences between gay men and lesbians, the pitfalls of lesbian relationships, and the ex-girlfriend who, when asked to talk dirty, told her, “You’re an asshole. And your comedy sucks!” In the intermissions, Champlin kept the laughter going when she broke into comic song in a voice strong enough to hint at a future as a rock star if, Mother Nature forbid, she were to leave comedy. Hilarious, energetic, fast-paced, and just a little bit dirty (okay, a lot), Champlin’s act is well worth seeing both with and without her Sapphic entourage.

The second act, Mimi Gonzalez, may be a “stealth butch” - because “you have to look like what you want to attract” - but her talent and good looks are no secret. Gonzalez opened by giving the ladies a long and much-appreciated view of el culo cubano before launching into an offbeat exploration of her Cuban heritage, her father’s ten marriages, and her uncertainty as to whether she’s really into women or it’s just “my father trying to get more of them through me.” (Let’s hope it’s the former.)

She followed up with a hysterical journey through queer history, sexuality and pop culture - from the days when being a “real” lesbian meant you had to “grow your hair then shave your head,” to the target of many lesbians’ homicidal fantasies, _The L Word’_s Jenny. Gonzales can be raunchy. She can be ribald. She can casually slip the word parthenogenesis into a joke about the gay marriage of Tom and Katie, and she’s the hottest act you’ll see all year, both on stage and off.

Finally, the legendary Karen Williams conquered the stage and the audience with an intelligent, bold, and hysterical take on modern politics, race, conspiracy theories, and sex after 40. With topics like the difficulties of pronouncing our future president’s name (“Baroque Obamma?”), falling asleep during sex, and spending your 30's working for the sex you got in your 20's, Williams’ material encompasses the queer, the universal, and everything in between. Activist, feminist, and comedian, Williams does it all and does it better.

The Queer Queens of Qomedy may be coming to a town near you. If they do, make sure you get a good seat. If they’re not, Champlin, Gonzalez, Williams, and the rest of the Queer Queens can be seen on various Logo specials and at Logo Online.

Written by: Melinda Barton, August 8th 2008

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