Nightlife

Randy Roberts

by David Foucher
EDGE Publisher
Thursday Jun 24, 2004
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Randy Roberts might just be the nicest drag queen showgirl you’ll have the pleasure of meeting. His celebrity impressions are dead-on, his schtick entertaining, and his vocal performance accomplished – but more exhilarating is the pure joy Roberts exudes in each of his shows. After fifteen years of “puttin’ on the glitz,” Roberts continues to entertain with wit and imagination.

This summer, Roberts again takes residence at the Post Office Cabaret, with shows Thursday thru Tuesdays at 10pm. This year, you won’t see Joan Rivers on stage (although she is prevalent in the interstitial videos so common in one-act Ptown shows)… but Conchita, Cher and Randy’s alter ego (that ubiquitous red-headed bombshell) are back in fine form.

A new addition to the show (and who premiered opening night with EDGE in the audience) is Bette Midler. Midler is Roberts’ least-effective work at the moment, but to be fair, she is brand new. Roberts’ has the live show joke patter of Midler down pat – it’s almost as if you’re listening to Bette in concert – but size and makeup issues leave the visuals lacking.

Conchita takes the stage after Bette – and fans of Roberts will be thrilled to know that the fiery Latino is just as flamboyant and silly as ever; only Roberts can rattle off faux-Spanish at the speed of light with flair and gusto, and he maximizes on his talents. She’s just plain hysterical.

Cher returns as well, and Roberts wisely doesn’t let her talk much. The emulation is absolute in voice, makeup, mannerism and dress; Roberts is the de-facto Cher to beat in any season, in any venue, if only because his live singing is eerily identical to that of the real diva. Echoing a medley of songs often heard in Cher’s tours (including “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” among other favorites), the segment is a cheering high point of the show.

Then Roberts returns with his signature red coiffure and evening gown to sing a variety of songs – primarily from lesser known Broadway shows. He is charming in this section of the show, but it lacks the fiery energy of the two segments that preceded it… his rendition of “Everybody’s Girl” from the show “Steel Pier” is well-sung, but the number, I daresay, has played itself out through a litany of drag performances from Boston to LA. Recall that Roberts is actually singing live, and the piece is effective for new reasons – yet the show could climax with hipper, fresh choices of music.

Despite minor flaws, Roberts is a consummate performer whose show will delight.

"Randy Roberts"
at the Post Office Cabaret
Thursdays thru Tuesdays at 10:00pm
Tickets $20.00 at http://www.ptowntix.com

David Foucher is the CEO of the EDGE Media Network and Pride Labs LLC, a member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association, and is accredited with the Online Society of Film Critics. David lives with his husband and daughter in Dedham MA.

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