Sutton Lee Seymour: Booby Tubes at The Palm Cabaret. The advertising blurb states: It’s a little “Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall” and Sutton Lee proves this a true vivid description now in her fifth season here. The followers keep coming back, new show after show. Tonight, she took her rewritten song “You Never Had A Queen Like Me” from Aladdin [“Friend Like Me”]. Old favorite “Copacabana “: ‘At The Copa, her name was Lola’ becomes “My name is Seymour” and she certainly is not in Rio. Watching her swirl her dress and hands as she sang demonstrated how extremely talented this star is. Another creation, especially for this local crowd, was “Out in Puerto Vallarta” stocked full of lyrical memories and current happenings which were funny to some, brutally honest to others.
She adored Bugs since childhood saying that he was her first drag queen and displayed a video graphic of Bugs looking very glamorous in her flowing dress. Backed up by a live band of Mark Hartman, Gary Flores and Roberto Falcon, Sutton Lee sings a combination of show tunes with comedic twists, celebrity impersonations, current hits and classic jazz numbers all with her live vocals. That covers the gamut.
Tonight is a very special night in that Sutton Lee introduced his parents seated in the front row. She said that Dad had taught her everything she knows about drag and gave her the gams although Mom was the one who taught her how to use them. She chatted about the stage play La Cage Aux Folles. Her lyrical takeoff of “Doo Wah Diddy Diddy” was true to the Sutton Lee image.”There she was just a-walkin’ down the street, Snapping her fingers and shuffling her feet.”
Sutton Lee chatted about two famous musical films both written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman and then sang from the landmark ‘play about a man-eating plant’ Little Shop of Horrors: “Somewhere That’s Green” with a mashup of “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid. She had discovered that they were the same song and demonstrated this fact with her vocals. From Pippin, she called upon one and all to “Time To Start Living”. In her youth, Sutton Lee embarked upon becoming a Fabulous Performer.
Sutton Lee finds songs that are crazy, a bit racy and fun to listen to while watching her glide around with that hysterical look on her face. She strolls the aisles and selects anyone who appears shy and withdrawn. This is a Drag Show and you are here watching me. For one front-row man, this was his first such show and seemed to be enjoying himself quite well, along with a little comic sniping by the lady star. “If you don’t get the joke, get an education!” From Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway, she projected the double-entendre “I Want a Hot Dog For My Roll”. Appearing from the side, two audience members dressed as full bodysuit hot dogs danced and swayed with Sutton Lee.
Sutton Lee admired Bernadette Peters greatly and mimicked her singing voice singing “Making Love Alone”. Linked closely was the next song Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” with the sad message “I’m in the corner watching you kiss her.” The band was sharp and struck deep chords supplementing her vocals.
The First Finale she called this tribute: she has an astute ability to impersonate favorite ladies of renown. Saluting Elvis with “I Can’t Help Falling In Love”, Sutton Lee became Carol Channing, Liza Minnelli, Cher [with much reverb], Barbra Streisand, Eartha Kitt and others sound as though they are standing present on stage. But, gays need to hear Judy Garland naturally since she was the world’s icon for LGBT and every other letter of the alphabet community. Sutton Lee mashed a medley of her songs including “Get Happy”, “The Trolley Song” with the assistance of a choo-choo man from the audience and then “The Man That Got Away”. She asked the crowd which Judy song was missing and of course, it was “[Somewhere] Over The Rainbow”. She made it a sing-along becoming an anthem for the Gay Pride movement remembering the 1969 Stonewall riots.
“Encore? Do I hear Encore?” No need to exit the stage and be pulled back by a rousing thunder of applause. Sutton Lee ended her show tonight declaring that we have progressed very far but “The Best Is Yet To Come”. The optimistic song from La Cage Aux Folles was started by Sutton Lee and then she called her father up onto the stage and they sang the tune as a duet. They sang, “And live and love as hard as you know how.” Both were having the best of times now.
Lastly, Sutton Lee sang her namesake “Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors and the crowd burst with joy regretting that the evening has come to a fabulous end. Musical Direction by Mark Hartman.
Olas Altas 508
20th Anniversary Season
Tickets: www.ThePalmCabaret.com May pay by PayPal online.
This review written by Gary R. Beck