Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret

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At this point, Martha Graham Cracker needs very little introduction: She’s one of the most talented and entertaining humans in Philadelphia. When not busy making Pig Iron Theatre one of the most dynamic and successful theater companies in the city, Dito van Reigersberg is getting his groove on in pumps and typically a dress or something that bears his hairy chest. With near-clownish makeup and minimal wig game, Dito becomes Martha—but in his performance of Martha Graham Cracker, it’s way, way beyond tits and ass. Martha’s a lady who likes to sing and vamp. Simple as that. And frankly, Martha can sing like Steven Tyler mixed with Robert Plant plus, ya know, Cher or Carly Simon or Karen Carpenter. That ladyboy’s a real presence.

She towers over most men, but with a wistful innocence that says “I’m just here to sing a few songs and entertain” and then, just as quickly, “Will you buy me a drink?” She’ll bat her long, fake lashes and then rip into a jazzy, lounge-style version of a pop standard from any era. That’s one of the best things about her; she knows good tunes. Ms. Cracker isn’t a pop-obsessed drag queen of the moment. You won’t hear much Britney or Azealia at her shows—tonight’s is hosted by Juliet Hope Wayne—but you’ll almost certainly hear some Liza, Judy or a show tune. Whereas most queens vogue, pose and lip-sync, Martha flirts, enchants, makes you laugh your ass off and then belts out a montage of perfectly-worked-over lounge-friendly classics. Better get there right when the doors open. / Bill Chenevert

9:30pm. $15. With Johnny Showcase. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com

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EVENT DETAILS

WHEN
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Recurring: ONCE

TIME & PRICE
9:30pm. $15.

WHERE
Johnny Brenda’s , 1201 N. Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA
One time only on 03/16/2013. .

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