Drag diva Lady Bunny will get the creatures stirring at her Christmas Eve show
Lady Bunny is a woman of many talents, and on Christmas Eve she'll be in Chicago to show them off during a performance at Circuit. Best known to audiences as the founder and creator of Wigstock, New York's annual Labor Day drag fest, Bunny is also a tart-tongued stand-up performer and cabaret artist with a new DVD, Rated X (for X-tra Retarded!).
In New York, Lady Bunny is a household name, but outside the city most recognize her from small appearances she's made on TV shows such as Sex and the City and films like To Wong Foo.... But, it's Wigstock and the 1995 documentary of the same name that have given her nationwide recognition.
Wigstock debuted in 1985 in the East Village and immediately became a cult sensation, attracting performers like Debbie Harry, RuPaul, Deee-Lite, Anne Magnuson and Cindy Wilson of the B-52's. Although Wigstock 2005 (now under the auspices of the Howl Festival) was a success, Lady Bunny is unsure of the event's future.
"I'm really not sure if I want to continue doing it. I've given it 20 years. It's my baby, but sometimes your baby's gotta grow up."
Still, because Wigstock enjoys a national reputation, Bunny is not sure who should take over for her.
"I don't see too many people I can pass the baton to....I really wasn't too pleased with a lot of performances this year. [While] there were some very memorable moments, there were a lot of performers that made me think, Wow, this shit doesn't deserve a fucking festival," she says.
"Honey, if you really want to break it down, I'm an old fat bitch. I should be shaking in my shoes [because] of all the young new, vivacious talents coming to knock me off. New York is not a drag town anymore."
With or without Wigstock, Lady Bunny isn't worried. She prefers to be known by her comedy routine, anyway. "When I go to perform in a city I've never been and they give me this introduction as the great diva that started Wigstock, I'm like, Fuck that."
Despite numerous film and TV credits, she also has no interest in being recognized as a cameo-style drag queen that caters to mainstream audiences.
"Someone came up to me after I'd done a show in Ohio. It was some young gay boy, and he wanted to touch me because he'd seen me on MTV with Britney [Spears]. I was like, 'I just finished doing a 30-minute show and you want to touch me because I've met Britney?' I can run around and emcee for Britney Spears or whoever and maybe it'll be cute and maybe it'll be fine, but I don't think it's anywhere near as entertaining as my own act, which is what I'm hired to do in clubs."
The act in question is an unabashedly not-politically-correct mixture of stand-up comedy, celebrity parody and in-your-face antics that her fans adore.
"Usually when a crowd is drunk, they are especially susceptible to enjoy humor that is a little dirtier than usual," she says. "Most gay audiences appreciate trash."
Much of Bunny's infamous comedy routine appears on her uproarious new DVD available through her website, www.ladybunny.net. "In Lady Bunny Rated X (for X-tra Retarded!), I'm the star!" she says with a laugh . "It's really about me and what I do, as opposed to me being a pawn in a larger game. This is my act....Looking at it, I could see I've grown as an artist, about 50 pounds."
Her "growth" as an artist includes clips from a number of recent Wigstocks, her doing stand-up at clubs, several Laugh-In–style routines and a running commentary from the diva herself. It's a combination of these recent highlights and some new material that Bunny will use to charm fans December 24 at Circuit.
"A lot of times people are really itching to get out on those holidays because they've been with their family all day and they're over it. I won't be going home, so I'm happy to be performing in Chicago."
Bunny performs her lip-shtick at Circuit on Sat 24.