RadioBDC Logo
RadioBDC | Grrl Power with Steph Mangan Listen Live
 
 
< Back to front page Text size +

Dishin’ with the celebs of P’town: Margaret Cho, Kate Clinton, Judy Gold, Varla Jean Merman, and Miss Richfield 1981

Posted by Jim Lopata  August 9, 2012 10:44 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Twenty-six years! OMG! Can you imagine performing in Provincetown for 26 years?! Margaret Cho can. She’s done it. We caught up with her and a few other P’town legends who each boast a decade or more of keeping demanding tourists entertained at the tip of Cape Cod.

Editor's Note: The following was adapted from a story that ran in the July/August issue of Boston Spirit magazine.

by John O'Connell


chomissmissyphotography.net - Miss Missy bear rug1_a.jpgMARGARET CHO

How many years have you performed in Provincetown?
26 years

What is your most marked characteristic?
Honesty

What quality do you like in a person?
Intelligence

What quality do you abhor in a person?
Stubbornness

What do you value in Provincetown?
The light. My friends. The water.

What is your greatest fear?
Irrelevance

What is a perfect Provincetown day?
Riding bikes through the beech forest, breakfast at Edwidge, laying around with Ryan Landry, Showgirls, late night rides to John Waters’.

What is your idea of misery?
Endless boredom

What do you think when people recognize you at Stop and Shop?
I don’t generally get recognized! I wish I would!

What do you most regret about your experience in Provincetown?
That I don’t yet have a house there and live there year round!

What unnatural gift would you most like to possess?
I’d love to fly!

Who’s act would you like a night off to see?
Ryan Landry or John Waters

What do you have from home that makes Provincetown bearable?
Mosquito repellent!

What three words would you use to describe this year’s show?
Profane, profound, powerful.


kate-clinton-2012-full_a.jpgKATE CLINTON

How many years have you performed in Provincetown?
[She wipes her mouth as she mumbles] 22?

What is your most marked characteristic?
Excellent posture.

What quality do you like in a person?
Sense of humor, duh.

What quality do you abhor in a person?
Trying-too-hardness.

What do you value in Provincetown?
The tides.

What is your greatest fear?
Being away from my gal during a disaster.

What is a perfect Provincetown day?
Coffee, crossword puzzle, gardening, long walks on the beach—that sounds so Christian Mingle—and a beach fire.

What is your idea of misery?
Any flight to Orlando during school breaks.

What do you think when people recognize you at Stop and Shop?
My clever disguise is not working.

What do you most regret about your experience in Provincetown?
I haven’t taken the FAWC [Fine Arts Work Center] watercolor class I promise myself every summer.

What unnatural gift would you most like to possess?
Being an amazing and hilarious piano accompanist.

Who’s act would you like a night off to see?
Bonnie Raitt at the Melody Tent. No, wait! I’m going!

What do you have from home that makes Provincetown bearable?
My P’town photos of sky and grasses and beach make NYC bearable.

What three words would you use to describe this year’s show?
ALL FRACKED UP!


Judy_Gold-101a.jpgJUDY GOLD

How many years have you performed in Provincetown?
20 years (since I’m 12)

What is your most marked characteristic?
Height

What quality do you like in a person?
Sense of humor

What quality do you abhor in a person?
Laziness

What do you value in Provincetown?
Free to be you and me

What is your greatest fear?
Something bad happening to my kids

What is a perfect Provincetown day?
Breakfast from Connie’s on the beach, bike ride through the dunes, hike to Hatches Harbor, sunset and bonfire at Race point

What is your idea of misery?
No work

What do you think when people recognize you at Stop and Shop?
I hope I wasn’t talking to myself

What do you most regret about your experience in Provincetown?
Not wearing enough sunscreen

What unnatural gift would you most like to possess?
Reading other people’s minds

Whose act would you like a night off to see?
Barbra Streisand—the real one

What do you have from home that makes Provincetown bearable?
Provincetown is home

What three words would you use to describe this year’s show?
Uproarious. Edgy. Hilarious.


Varla Jean Merman ©Rex Bonomelli_ajpg.jpgVARLA JEAN MERMAN

How many years have you performed in Provincetown?
This is my 14th summer!

What is your most marked characteristic?
My luxurious, long, red hair which surprisingly perfectly matches my Latisse-irritated eyelids.

What quality do you like in a person?
Optimistic joy

What quality do you abhor in a person?
Greed

What do you value in Provincetown?
The diversified audiences! If your show works here, it will work anywhere!
What is your greatest fear?

That the world will end this year as prophesied and I stupidly paid all of my debts.
What is a perfect Provincetown day?

Morning step-aerobics with dear Dot at Mussel Beach; a lunch consisting of a medium-rare, bun-less, gorgonzola burger with fries at Ross’s Grill; a game of afternoon fetch with Mrs. Danvers on the beach; and a sold-out crowd with NO BARKING. Finish the night off with a draft beer or two with Olive Another at Enzo’s, and the Lady is happy.

What is your idea of misery?
Missing Bear Week! I was in an off-Broadway play last year and had to miss it. It wasn’t as glamorous as it sounded ...

What do you think when people recognize you at Stop and Shop?
They don’t.

What do you most regret about your experience in Provincetown?
That I didn’t keep a journal! Unfortunately, because of all the Ambien, binge-drinking, video head-cleaning, and various head injuries, I have no idea what I did from 1998-2009. Thank God for Facebook now. I can wake up and see what I was guilty of the night before.

What unnatural gift would you most like to possess?
Teleportation. Imagine! You could forever say “Goodbye!” to the traffic at the Sagamore Bridge, the monotonous drive to Hyannis, the line at Tea Dance, or the late night cops underneath the Boatslip deck.

Who’s act would you like a night off to see?
Marilyn Maye at the Art House!

What do you have from home that makes Provincetown bearable?
My beautiful Boston Terrier, Mrs. Danvers; and, my own “Thelma Ritter,” my tireless assistant from New Orleans, Brian Johnston!

What three words would you use to describe this year’s show?
“Still” “not” “written”

[Varla Jean Merman photo: copyright Rex Bonomelli]


MissRichfield1981_a.jpgMISS RICHFIELD 1981

How many years have you performed in Provincetown?
This will be my 10th season! So I guess you can do the math and figure out that I started when I was only 19!

What is your most marked characteristic?
Beauty! As Miss Richfield 1981, a beauty professional and pageant title holder, I know the buzz about scholarships and high school diplomas and all, but it’s a fact that only 50 percent of beauty queens can actually read and write, and virtually none of us do math. Let’s face it, beauty is skin deep and everybody knows that your skin is not connected to your brain!

What quality do you like in a person?
Beauty! I prefer a lovely appearance, big hair and reasonable hygiene—which is probably why I’m so fond of myself!

What quality do you abhor in a person?
Depth

What do you value in Provincetown?
So many, many things I love about P'town! The best is that we all trod the same road—Commercial Street. It’s the only place I have ever been where the city isn’t broken up into sections—it’s all one street for homos, lady homos, grandparents, students, people of color, and if you look at your feet, even some children!

What is your greatest fear?
Children

What is a perfect Provincetown day?
A sunny ride on the bike trails in the morning, a tray of raw oysters for lunch, a massive exodus from Tea Dance in the evening, a sold-out performance in the Paramount, and a ride home on my scooter without anyone dying.

What is your idea of misery?
In-depth interviews with lots of questions!

What do you think when people recognize you at Stop and Shop?
I’m glad you asked that because I’m thinking of wearing a nametag when I shop this year. I’m shocked at how many people do NOT recognize me. So then I just have to stop them and re-introduce myself. I think of it as a service to those who might not feel brave enough to greet me, or perhaps have me confused with other celebrities, like Connie Francis or JoAnne Castle—just the biggies!

What do you most regret about your experience in Provincetown?
Not getting here earlier! Those religious Pilgrims stopped in a couple hundred years ago, followed by the Portuguese fishermen, and then the homos arrived in heels. I can’t believe it took me until 2003. Now I’m just trying to make up for lost time!

What unnatural gift would you most like to possess?
I’d like to be able to strike people dead. Not all the time. Just when they throw my promotional cards on the ground. Good heavens, my lovely cards are always two-sided, with a flattering photo of me, along with a catchy title and a high gloss finish! What more do people want?!?

Who’s act would you like a night off to see?
The performers in P’town are like potato chips—salty, mostly white, and irresistible, so you can’t have just one! Truth be told, I always make a point of seeing every single show in town, occasionally missing some who come to town for short run. But I see most of those too! It’s another part of P’town that is so special—the way the performers get along and adore and respect each other!

What do you have from home that makes Provincetown bearable?
My feline family—Willy and Dusty!

What three words would you use to describe this year’s show?
Fan, Tast, Ick! It’s an all-new show—“2012: We’ll All Be Dead By Christmas”—a celebratory approach to the impending Armageddon.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

 
About the author: Boston Spirit Magazine’s daily blog brings you all of the information you need on New England’s LGBT community. In addition to highlighting local and national LGBT news, we will also highlight local leaders from the worlds of business, politics, fashion and entertainment and keep you up-to-date on all the latest events and parties, hot spots for travel, shopping, dining, and more!
archives

More community voices

Child in Mind

Corner Kicks

Dirty Old Boston

Mortal Matters

On Deck

TEDx Beacon Street