Sunday, June 22, 2014

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight is an American comedian, actress, and jazz musician She is "the first openly gay comic to break the late-night talk-show barrier" with her 1993 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show. Today's Out Spotlight Lea DeLaria.

Lea DeLaria was born May 23, 1958 in Belleville, Illinois the daughter of Jerry, a homemaker, and Robert DeLaria, a jazz pianist and social worker. She attended kindergarten through 8th grade at St Mary's Elementary School in Belleville, and has referenced her Catholic upbringing in her performances.

DeLaria has performed stand-up comedy for over 25 years and is a prominent figure in the world of LGBT comedy. She began her career billing herself as "That F#*king Dyke"; she states "I called myself that because I would walk down the street and people would yell (it) at me. But after two years of performing I would walk down the street and people would yell (it) at me and I wouldn't know if they were a fan or not!"

Of her watershed 1993 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show, as the first openly gay comic to appear on a late-night talk-show, she said "It's the 1990s ... It's hip to be queer, and I'm a bi-i-i-i-ig dyke!" In December 1993 she hosted Comedy Central's Out There, the first all-gay stand-up comedy special.

She is also known for her touring "musical comedy about perverts," Dos Lesbos (1987–1989) as well as Girl Friday, a comedy she conceived, wrote, directed and starred in, and which won the 1989 Golden Gull for Best Comedy Group in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

DeLaria has released two CD recordings of her comedy, Bulldyke in a China Shop (1994) and Box Lunch (1997). She has also written a humorous book entitled Lea's Book of Rules for the World.

She also appeared as Jane in the 1998 Off Broadway production of Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, a "a gay retelling of the Bible." She received critical acclaim for her "showstopping" performance as Hildy Esterhazy in the 1998 Broadway revival of On the Town. She also played Eddie and Dr. Scott in the 2000 Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Show, and can be heard on the cast recording.

She is not limited to the stage but added the screen as well and her filmography includes Edge of Seventeen and The First Wives Club.

DeLaria integrates musical performance into her stand-up comedy, focusing on traditional and modern be-bop jazz and has even said at her shows "It is my personal goal to bring be-bop jazz back into the gay and lesbian community." In 2001 she released a CD of jazz standards called Play It Cool. This was followed by the album Double Standards in 2003, and by The Very Best of Lea DeLaria in 2008.

In 2001, DeLaria was the voice of Helga Phugly on the short-lived, animated sitcom, The Oblongs. In 1999 DeLaria played the recurring role of Madame Delphina on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, returning in 2008 as both Delphina and Professor Delbert Fina. She continues to portray Delphina on a recurring basis as of 2011.

In 2008, Warner Records released The Live Smoke Sessions, DeLaria's first recording focused on "timeless pop standards" such as "Down With Love," "Night and Day," "Love Me or Leave Me" and "Come Rain or Come Shine." She noted, "I styled this CD on the old school live recordings ... It is my hope that this CD will take you back to 1948 and the Village Vanguard. So please let me invite you to mix a cocktail and enjoy a smoke while you sit back and soak up the swing."

In November 2008, DeLaria completed a tour of Australia, playing Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. She also frequently collaborates with comedian Maggie Cassella, most notably on an annual Christmas cabaret show in Toronto, Ontario which also sometimes tours to several other Canadian and US cities.

In July 2010, DeLaria's version of "All That Jazz" was used on So You Think You Can Dance.

In 2013, she joined the cast of the hit Netflix Original show Orange Is the New Black as prison inmate Carrie 'Big Boo' Black.


destiny said...

I really like Lea Delaria. I've seen her do both stand-up and sing.

One of these days I'll have to start streaming Netflix so that I can see Orange is the New Black. Hate to pay for both streaming and DVDs, and right now the streaming service just doesn't have enough movies that I'm interested in renting.

prairiegirl said...

That's the truth, Destiny. I stream my Netflex and they don't have near the selection, but it's only $8 a month so oh well.

I resumed my Netflex for the sole reason that I could start watching Supernatural and be able to start with Season 1, Episode 1. I've got one episode in but that's all the farther I've gotten, lol. I did re-watch High School Musical. I love that show.

Seaweed said...

Really enjoyed the Spotlight on Lea DeLaria... have seen here more than a few times not only doing her stand-up routine, but also in the movie At the age of 17, many years ago and was impressed with her screen presence and how it translated. She seemed to have a wonderful way of working with the younger people around her and to me was quite inspiring.


Seaweed said...

... have seen HER more than a few times.

Should never pass up an opportunity to proof read. I'm way too OCD for that. LOL

prairiegirl said...

Hey Seaweed!! Whassssup.

This is going to be a terribly hectic week. I'm dogsitting my Weinarumar (sp) and boy, this morning, I did not think I was going to get her to go downstairs to her room that she stays in while you're at work. Man oh man. Then I forgot my work computer at home, had to drive across town to go get it; needless to say, this day was off to a very questionable start.

Kind of a bummer about the US game yesterday. It was so exciting. And after the 1st US score, I tweeted, Jared tweeted right away, and even ol' Austy tweeted. Then we went ahead and then we settled for a tie. And no one tweeted about it. lol

I'm not sure what happens now. Is the US out of it? Or do they get to play again?

I have to get back to work. We're at a bare staff today so gotta keep the nose to the grindstone.

destiny said...

I did see yesterday's game, and yeah, I can't believe they lost in the last few seconds of the game. Heartbreaking.

prairiegirl said...

Cool - I've seen a big buck just a few minutes ago. It's twilight here and Maycee's Mom 'n Dad have some lush greenery way off yonder. While I was outside with Maycee, I could see a few deer up there and so when we came in, I used their big telescope to look at them. By that time, all I could see was one of them and he was a buck.

But his antlers aren't fully developed yet; they sort of looked like moose antlers. He's got a rack but they looked all fuzzy still. He was just eating and pulling at the branches above his head. He's out of sight now.
: (

What is it about deer that is just so magnificent? Maycee's dad has the telescope set up perfect to catch the wildlife and he said you'll see stuff oftentimes, but this is the first time I've seen anything. Really cool!

prairiegirl said...

And why is it such a coup to see a buck? lol

I don't know, but it is. You just don't see them as often, I guess. Everytime I see deer, it is almost 95% the does.

Not that they aren't neat to see, but a buck? They are something else to see.

wedding bells said...

Take a bow, boys! Broadway actors Andy Mientus and Michael Arden were engaged to be married today while vacationing in Bath, England.

Mientus announced the engagement on Instagram with a quote from Shakespeare's As You Like It: "Come, woo me, woo me, for now I am in a holiday humour and like enough to consent. #engaged #andyandmichael."

Mientus, who is currently making his Broadway debut as Marius in the revival of Les Misérables, played a gay character, Kyle Bishop, in the NBC series Smash. He also appeared Off-Broadway in Carrie.

Arden, who plays a gay patient on the FX series Anger Management, starred in the Broadway musicals Big River, The Times They Are A-Changin', and A Tale of Two Cities. He also appeared Off-Broadway in the gay-themed shows Swimming in the Shallows and Bare.


the real m said...

I recognized her immediately as I've just started watching season two of Orange is the New Black. Thanks for the full bio so I have a better understanding of the actor.

I keep netflix around for some shows and Amazon Prime for others. The shows are out there but you have to be patient. Very, very patient.

destiny said...

I just found out that Season 1 is on DVD, so I've added it to my que.