Blowhards don’t scare her.
Pittsfield, MA – On November 13 you will see a lot of houses in Pittsfield darkened, with the blinds pulled down, hoping to avoid the plague of “funny new ideas” that Kate Clinton will be spreading in the Berkshires.
Sure, they can lock up and home-school their children, but they sure can’t hide from the fresh and original take on politics, ecology and American life that Kate Clinton is bringing to the stage of the Colonial Theatre. Her wit can be devastating, but her heart is one of gold. She is the antidote to Sarah Palin, the Bill Maher and Lewis Black of LGBTQ political discourse, only nicer, prettier and funnier. More Will Rogers than H.L. Mencken.
Kate is the most dangerous of all the Clintons, Bill and Hillary included. She is a faith-based, tax-paying, America-loving political humorist and family entertainer. With a career spanning over 25 years, Kate Clinton has worked through economic booms and busts, Disneyfication and Walmartization, gay movements and gay markets, lesbian chic and queer eyes, and ten presidential inaugurals. She still believes that humor gets us through peacetime, wartime and scoundrel time.
In brief: Kate Clinton The Lady HAHA Tour with Special Guest Roy Zimmerman will be coming to the Colonial on November 13, at 8PM. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street Monday-Friday 10AM-5PM, performance Saturdays 10AM-2PM, by calling (413) 997-4444 or online at www.thecolonialtheatre.org.
Kate brings Lady HAHA to the stage.
Kate Clinton – who normally plays in that other artist’s colony at the tip of the Cape – is a comic without borders, wake-up artist, and the original reality gatecrasher. But she is hardly for gays and lesbians only. During the summer they flock to P-Town from Hyannis and Chatham to see Kate perform her world-famous burlesque Bubble Wrap Dance as she gleefully pops the air out of deniers and disruptors, birthers and dearthers, conservadems and bibliocrats, the stans and the bans, spine flu and whine flu, ex-gays and A-gays, the audacity of nope and of course, the pope. All material fully digitalized and gorgeously styled by the Haus of Ha.
“What’s so funny about madness, horror and catastrophe, Republicans and ecocide and homophobia? For that matter, what’s so funny about being middle-aged, or the agonies and traumas of childhood? Kate Clinton has a unique take on it all. Is it possible to be incredibly funny and at the same time political visionary? Sure, but to do this, to be simultaneously a million laughs and politically super-smart, it helps to be Kate Clinton, and since only one of us is Kate Clinton, since she is unique in all the world, brilliantly, elegantly funny about everything that terrifies us, and since so much terrifies us these days, and since laughing at what scares us emboldens us, my recommendation is that you seize any opportunity that comes your way to hear Kate Clinton. Her new show is magnificent!”—Tony Kushner, Pulitzer & Tony Award winning playwright (Angels in America).
Kate has taught humor writing at the prestigious Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA where poet laureate Robert Pinsky and Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Cunningham have also taught. She lectures widely on humor and the uses of humor in cultural change.
As an actress, humorist, panelist and host, Kate has worked with some of the great writers and performers of our time. Kate participated in a staged reading of Tony Kushner’s play, SLAVS at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Kate was a panelist in a public discussion Satire in America and hosted an evening at The Kennedy Center when Richard Pryor received the first-ever Mark Twain Award. At New York’s 92nd St. Y she interviewed Calvin Trillin and Harry Shearer and took part in Leonard Lopate’s Politics is Funny Business.
She has received awards from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and at the 2007 GLAAD Media Awards, Kate Clinton was presented with the Pioneer Award. In 2009 Kate was presented with SAGE’s Ken Dawson Advocacy Award.
“Kate Clinton has held the mirror that reflects every single issue that has faced us for the last 25 years. We’ve laughed with her, we’ve cried with her, and we’ve been changed by her,” Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
About her co-conspirator, Roy Zimmerman
What’s funny about war, poverty, ignorance, bigotry, neo-conservatism, homophobia, greed, lust and fear? Ask Roy Zimmerman. He’s been writing satirical songs for twenty years. There’s a decidedly Lefty slant to his lyrics. “We used to have a name for Right Wing satire,” he says. “We called it ‘cruelty.’”
Zimmerman has played clubs across the country, and shared the stage with George Carlin, Bill Maher, Kate Clinton, Dennis Miller, Sandra Tsing Loh, kd lang, Andy Borowitz and Paul Krassner. He’s done several shows with The Pixies’ Frank Black, swapping songs in a solo acoustic setting. His up-to-the-moment topical songs are featured on American Public Media’s syndicated broadcast Weekend America and Sirius Radio’s West Coast Live.
He’s currently touring a one-man show called Faulty Intelligence. It’s a ninety minute theatrical presentation of Zimmerman’s original songs and comic commentary—an indictment of the Bush administration to accompany Patrick Fitzgerald’s. And there’s a new album to go with it. Faulty Intelligence the CD contains a lesson in Intelligent Design, “Creation Science 101;” an Elvis sounding love song to the government phone tappers called “Hello, NSA” that’s featured on the ACLU web site; and the bawk-along “Chickenhawk,” already a Zimmerman classic. He says, “I hope this record gets good reviews, but mostly I hope it gets denied under oath by Karl Rove.”
Zimmerman’s fourth CD is a Holiday offering called PeaceNick. It’s Lefty, Pacifist, Humanist satire celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace in a time of pre-emptive war. The disc takes a snipe at militaristic merchandising with “Buy War Toys for Christmas,” and thumbs its nose at the War on Christmas—an absurd notion promoted by Bill O’Reilly and his ilk—with the Happy Holidays song “Christma-Hanu-Rama-Ka-Dona-Kwanzaa.” The Dylan-esque “Christmas is Pain,” another Zimmerman classic in the mold of another Zimmerman, receives wide airplay every Holiday Season.
Homeland and Security are a twin pair of CD releases arising in the aftermath of the 9-11 disaster. In 23 scathing originals, Roy dissects the jingoism, belligerence and plain addle-headedness of Bush and Company’s response. Homeland takes on domestic threats, among them the “Patriot Act” and “Jerry Falwell’s God.” This disc also contains Roy’s heartfelt love song to his wife, “You.” Security widens the satirical bite to include a “Multinational Anthem” and the mock-inspirational “One World, One Bank.”
Roy’s first solo release was Comic Sutra, a mixture of the personal and the political and the personal that is political including the same-sex marriage anthem, “Defenders of Marriage,” and “Punish the People,” a happy-go-lucky paean to class warfare. “Punish the People” is also featured on the compilation CD Laughter is a Powerful Weapon, released to raise money for the Red Cross in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Performing at New York City’s Symphony Space during the 2004 Republican Convention, he drew this review from The New York Times: “Roy Zimmerman lifted the evening with his song ‘Chickenhawk,’ ridiculing the military policies of Bush administration officials who didn’t serve in the armed forces. Zimmerman’s squawking and clucking conveyed his scorn with contagious irreverence.”
Zimmerman founded and wrote all the material for the comedy folk quartet The Foremen, who recorded four albums, two of them for Warner/Reprise Records. The Foremen toured extensively, playing the nation’s major folk venues, a lot of fancy Progressive benefits, Pete Seeger’s Clearwater Festival (under an overpass in the rain) and CBGB’s. They even warmed up the crowd for President Bill Clinton.
“Firing the Surgeon General,” Zimmerman’s song full of euphemisms for masturbation, was used in MTV’s “Sex in the Nineties” documentary. In 2005, Roy wrote the opening number for the 37th Annual Writers Guild Awards show in Hollywood, a song appropriately titled, “I Wrote That.”
Ask Zimmerman about his influences, and have a pencil ready. Steeped in musical theatre, he was fascinated at an early age with the ingenious economy of Irving Berlin, the witty innuendo of Cole Porter and the high-wire rhyme and reason of Stephen Sondheim.
Woody Guthrie, The Weavers and Dylan are obvious lights in Roy’s pantheon. Other favorite writers are Tom Lehrer for his hilarious and impeccably crafted topicality, Ani DiFranco for her marriage of brilliance and bravery and Joni Mitchell for her seamless union of sound and sense. “There’s nothing funny about World Peace,” Roy observes. “Social Justice never killed at The Comedy Store. If we ever attain a worldwide consciousness of peace and justice, I’ll be happily out of a job. But as long as power corrupts, I’ll absolutely have a career.”
This is Zimmerman’s second appearance at The Colonial Theatre. He opened for John Oliver in August, 2010.
About Kate Clinton’s Unusual Career
Kate has performed nationally since 1981 from Joe’s Pub in New York City to the Park West in Chicago to the Herbst Theater in San Francisco, and back to New York for several off-Broadway runs, with hundreds of comedy club dates in between. She opened for the Labelle Reunion Show at the Apollo. She appeared in the True Colors show at Radio City Music Hall. Hitchcock Meets Hilarious Talkback Tuesday Series featured Kate last year. Kate has performed at Nothin’ Like a Dame, an annual star-studded Broadway gala performance and event featuring women from stage, film and the performing arts. She has been featured at comedy festivals including CTBS Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, Just for Laughs in Montreal, the Toyota Comedy Festival in New York and Marshall’s Women in Comedy Festival. She has come a long way from those first performances in Unitarian Church basements. Her two decades plus of material are on record in her eight comedy collections, including Climate Change, Comedy You Can Dance To, Read These Lips and The Marrying Kind.
Her new third book I Told You So is a hilarious, bittersweet, politically acute survival guide. It is available as an audiobook and will be released in paperback in May. Her second book, What The L? is a laugh-out-loud collection of dangerous humor from one of the all-time-favorite lesbian comics living under one of the all-time-worst presidents. In 2005 it was nominated in the humor category for the prestigious 2005 Lambda Literary Award, considered to be the highest accolade for a book from the LGBT community. Her first book, Don’t Get Me Started, was published by Ballantine in 1998. The audio companion was named one of 1998’s Best Audiobooks by Publishers Weekly.
Kate also blogs for Huffington Post, The Progressive, Bilerico, NYC Up and Out, Beacon Broadside and Olivia Connect. She has written for The New York Times, Women’s Review Of Books, and The Advocate. Kate served as a writer on The Rosie O’Donnell Show during its rollout period in 1996.
A respected and sought-after member of the Commentariat, she has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show, Joy Behar Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, Entertainment Tonight, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, The L Word, numerous news and talk shows on Comedy Central, Lifetime, LOGO, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNN, and C-Span. She hosted In The Life, and The World According To Us. Her one woman show, Talking A Blue Streak, was broadcast on hereTV! and later released as a DVD.
Kate’s opening ceremony performance in Chicago at Gay Games VII was released on the official Gay Games DVD in 2006. In January 2009, on the night before the inauguration of President Obama, when the White House was still a crime scene, Kate organized the Sage the White House action. With thousands present and with many tuned in from around the world, Kate banished the evil spirits of eight year’s of George Bush’s ruinous residency. In hindsight, they should also have saged Congress.
She performed at the 2001 V-Day celebration of The Vagina Monologues in a sold-out Madison Square Garden benefit to end violence against women. Also in 2001 Kate replaced Dick Cavett on Broadway as the Narrator of The Rocky Horror Show. In 2002 she appeared for six weeks in the New York production of The Vagina Monologues.
In addition to live performance, Kate appeared in the film The Secret Lives of Dentists directed by Alan Rudolph and is one of four lesbian comics featured in Laughing Matters, an award-winning documentary produced by Andrea Meyerson. She is the narrator’s voice in Joan Biren’s documentary No Secrets Anymore – the Times of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyons and has a cameo appearance in Dee Mosbacher’s documentary Radical Harmonies. Also narrated by Kate Clinton, Mom’s Apple Pie: The Heart of the Lesbian Mothers’ Custody Movement (October 2006) revisits the early tumultuous years of the lesbian custody movement through the stories of five lesbian mothers and their four children.
Tickets are $35 and can be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street Monday-Friday 10AM-5PM, performance Saturdays 10AM-2PM, by calling (413) 997-4444 or online at www.TheColonialTheatre.org