GAYPV sat down for a chat with the amazing Lady Bunny, who will be returning to Puerto Vallarta’s ACT II Red Room for an exclusive engagement March 19-23. 2014
Tell us about your the debut of your cabaret show That Ain’t No Lady In Puerto Vallarta!
It’s 90 minutes of craziness. Action-packed comedy, glitzy costumes, song parodies and a Laugh-In style joke routine which skewers every celebrity from Justin Bieber to Kim Kardashian. My humor is definitely on the raunchy side, and often a little politically incorrect. So please don’t bring the kids to this one. I also incorporate some scandalous videos to keep you howling. I’ve died in Puerta Vallarta and I’ve performed shorter sets, so I’m thrilled to be doing a full-length comedy run from March 19-23 at the Red Room [ed: ACT II Entertainment at the corner of Insurgentes and Basilio Badillo]. Please check the schedule because some shows are at 7:30 and some are at 10. I’ve heard great things about the place and have enjoyed seeing some of the other queens performing there on youtube. I loved their costumes! And if I can fit into any of them, they might disappear on March 24th! Just kidding!
How did the critics receive That Ain’t No Lady! in NYC?
I actually got a glowing review from the NY Times and they really seemed to appreciate my twisted humor. Their reviewer said: “Most of Lady Bunny’s best lines are unprintable here, but more than any performer I saw this year “the old pig in a wig,” as she calls herself, made me weep with laughter, often while groaning with disgust. And isn’t that what the best low comedy is all about?” [ed: The full New York Times review is here] Reviews are one thing–but what I liked is that the crowds were so big that we had to extend it for 7 months! Hopefully, Puerta Vallarta audiences will enjoy it, too. Musically, I’m all over the place. I sing live and change the words to songs by everyone from Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Toni Braxton, Ricky Martin, Shakira, Rihanna, Elton John, Destiny’s Child, Lauryn Hill and many more.
How would you describe your signature look?
Blonde, zany, glamorous and kinda fat at the moment. I still have nice legs–they keep trim from lugging my big gut around. So I’d describe my figure as The Blob on stilts. I don’t impersonate anyone, but people used to tell me that I looked like Barbara Eden. Now they say I look more like Barbara Been Eatin’! I hope no one confuses me with Lorna Luft! (Because she’s a much better singer than I am!) And of course, I also love big blonde wigs–the higher the hair, the closer to God! That must make me a saint.
You live in NYC but grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee?
Yes, I’m white trash. Tennessee is the kind of place where if you see a pregnant 13 year old pulling a wagon full of beer with a crack pipe in her mouth, you don’t call child care services. You just think, Awww, ain’t she cute! Baby’s first party! And marriage between two men is legal in Tennessee–as long as they are first cousins. I go back there a lot because my parent are still very close–they’re actually brother and sister.
You used to be RuPaul’s roommate in Atlanta?
Yes! And together we moved up to NYC in the 1980s. Or was that 1880s? Ru and I have kept in touch and he put me in his StarrBooty movie. We worked together on Another Gay Sequel and had such a blast that he asked me to be the Dean Of Drag on Drag U. I had a blast working on it and got to meet a lot of the Drag Race girls from all season. I was thrilled to be impersonated last season by Alaska and Ivy Winters. Both looked just like me–except that those bitches are pretty, thin and young, dammit! Drag U is finished after 3 years but Ru and I have done a duet on each of his last two albums.
I hear you work every Friday performing at Hot Mess with Bianca Del Rio from the new season of Drag Race. What is she like? Any tips about her on the new season?
Hot Mess is a full-scale drag revue I created with Bianca and Milan, also from Drag Race, and we just celebrated our 2 year anniversary to capacity crowds! Bianca is our emcee. If Drag Race exists to showcase talented queens, then they’ve struck gold with Miss Bianca Del Rio. She sews costumes professionally for Broadway, styles immaculate wigs and does expert (if kooky) make-up. And the bitch can read the house down. Everyone who catches her emceeing falls in love with her, including all of the groups who she mercilessly rags on. She’s that funny and quick. I have no idea who this season will crown America’s Next Superstar, but Bianca is already a superstar in my book. I’m not sure that Logo can air all of her un-PC madness, so for the full, uncensored Bianca experience you’ve gotta visit Hot Mess on Fridays whenever you’re in NYC. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a table full of real women howling after Bianca threatens to kick them in the pussy. But then she decides not to because she’d “probably lose a shoe.” Yes, she’s that ill! Those other Drag Race contestants better watch out for her mouth. Bianca has a way of getting the upper hand.
You’ve had lots of celebrity guests come through Hot Mess, haven’t you?
Honey, I’ve had a lot of celebrity guests come through my coochie but I’ll wait for the book to tell you about that one. Tan Mom was definitely the biggest mess that Hot Mess ever had. We hired her early on at the suggestion of a publicist and she put the “special” back in special guest–as in special education! Footage from it flew all over the internet and we got international press coverage for the night. For once, Bianca barely needed to say a thing. Tan Mom looked a fright, seemed wasted, flashed her panties, fell several times and lashed out at audience members. So she basically stole my act! I had tried to feed her a line and say that her daughter, who people were concerned about after Tan Mom allegedly put her in a tanning booth, was doing very well at school and had even become a brownie. She flew into a rage at the mere suggestion of it. You can see her antics on the red carpet. I was away the week we had Octomom as a special, but she nursed a plastic baby doll with a bottle of vodka with her boob hanging out. Because we keep it classy!
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
What else are you up to these days?
I spin a new tea dance at The Monster on Sundays from 6-10PM on the first and third Sunday of each month. The twinks may rule Hell’s Kitchen, but we’re still shaking our groove thang in the West Village. On March 19th-23rd and join Bianca, Coco Peru, Willam, Shangela and several San Francisco queens in Queens of Comedy to perform at SF’s Castro Theatre on 3/29. I open my new solo show, Clowns Syndrome, at La Escuelita on April 22nd every Tuesday for an open-ended run with all-new material. See, I love the latins in NYC, too! Keep an eye out for Bun-Bun on the big screen in My Dead Boyfriend, in which I have a scene with Heather Graham where we recreated Wigstock in Tompkins Square Park with 30 drag queens. And I’ve just written an eyebrow-raising blog for Huffingtonpost Gay Voices, In Defense Of Alec Baldwin, but right now, I’m most excited about my gig at the Red Room! Hope to see you all there.