My friend Trina would have loved the second annual Based on a True Titty variety show, especially when the burlesque dancer Missmagnolia’s purple pasty landed on my mother.
Aside from the all-in-good-fun atmosphere, which combined poetry, music, dancing, and humor, the event once again raised both breast cancer awareness and money for the Trina Fund.
Fending off a perfect storm of an historic sporting event, unprecedented parking restrictions and the plague, the lively event drew a great crowd, including a number of breast cancer survivors.
With the Cubs playing in their first World Series since 1945 just down the road, and, consequently, street parking prohibited in a range around the theatre, drawing a crowd might have been challenging. But, on bikes, Ubers, and their own two feet, audience members made their way to the Annoyance Theatre.
That, in itself, was inspiring. Then came the tributes, from standup comic Mike Gifford (in honor of his grandma Sarah Jane Kelly), singer Evan Mills (in honor of his Aunt Elizabeth), comedienne Maddie Murphy (in honor of her friend Dodie Lovejoy), poet/actor Terrence Carey (in honor of his Auntie Alison), sketch comics Fully Functional (in honor of Guiseppina Geloso and Jean Simpson), comediennes and sisters Jillian and Jessye Meyer (in honor of their Aunt Deborah), burlesque dancer Missmagnolia Rouge (in honor of her Aunt Carrie), and comic duo Bevvy (in honor of Dame Maggie Smith).
Illness knocked two other performers out just before curtain, but our intrepid hosts Pure & Weary rallied and the show rolled on.
It’s not easy to produce a joyous breast cancer benefit, but, as this clip of the wrap up song indicates, Katherine and Leah pulled it off.
I got to hang out with Katherine and Leah before the show, which is how I observed their calm resolution of all the millions of issues that popped up on show day. I also got to enjoy their rehearsal in Katherine’s apartment.
I baked them theme cookies.
And then I enjoyed the show… This is the musical duo Evan and Mary Jane, except it’s just Evan and an empty chair. His partner Britt got sick on Sunday and was unable to perform. Evan did a great job and we look forward to seeing Evan and Mary Jane at full strength another time.
Missmagnolia Rouge was the first burlesque dancer I’ve ever seen. She was beautiful and, bonus, her purple pasty landed on my mom, which was hilarious.
Fully Functional was fully entertaining.
A little Packer product placement. What? They needed pink! I was happy to share!
Maddy Murphy gave a hilarious tribute to her mom and her mom’s best friend Dodie Lovejoy. Yes that is Dodie’s real name and isn’t it awesome?
This skit by Bevvy about two human breasts also cracked me up.
Mike Gifford’s piece honoring his grandma was both funny and touching.
And Terrence Carey’s slam poem tribute to his Auntie was also spot on.
I apologize to both of these beautiful women for the weird green background and terrible lighting. But, my sister Kathy is my daughter Katherine’s inspiration for this show and, even though they are both much lovelier than this photo, I wanted to include a post-show shot. Here’s to an Abundance of Katherines!
And, a shout out to Leah and Katherine, who pulled off a great show despite historic challenges.