The RRazz Room Celebrates 30 Years of Lypsinka with THE PASSION OF THE CRAWFORD, 9/4-16
The RRazz Room, San Francisco's premier nightclub, will welcome back acclaimed entertainer Lypsinka for a special two-week engagement from September 4 to 16 to celebrate Lypsinka's 30th anniversary. She will recreate the widely popular show "The Passion of the Crawford" - a fab fantasia about the refraction of celebrity and addiction to fame - for the first time in the Bay Area in more than five years. John Epperson, appearing as his alter ego Lypsinka, has always delved into powerful womanhood for his groundbreaking shows. Incorporating a sizable dollop of Joan Crawford's large persona, Lypsinka devotes the show entirely to the Oscar-winning actress playing out interviews and speeches given by Crawford. "The Passion of the Crawford" is directed by Kevin Malony and also stars Steve Hasley as The Interviewer.
Epperson was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, a long way from the exciting worlds in which Lypsinka travels: movies (Witch Hunt with Dennis Hopper, Darren Aronofsky's BLACK SWAN, Wigstock: The Movie, Angels In America, Kinsey, Another Gay Movie, Another Gay Sequel); television (HBO specials Sandra After Dark with Sandra Bernhard, and Dragtime; George Michael's video Too Funky, PBS's The United States Of Poetry and special features on the Mommie Dearest and Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? DVDs); fashion (appearing in the Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles shows of haute couture designer Thierry Mugler, modeling for Valentino, Pauline Trigere, Barneys New York, and launching lines of cosmetics for Prescriptives, MAC, and Isabella Rossellini); advertisements (The Gap, LA Eyeworks, Naya Spring Water, Ilford Film); theater including I Could Go On Lip-Synching!, The Fabulous Lypsinka Show, Lypsinka! Now It Can Be Lip-Synched, Lypsinka! A Day In The Life (New York Theater Workshop, two Drama Desk nominations, including Most Unique Theatrical Experience; revived in 1993 Off Broadway at The Cherry Lane Theate), Lypsinka! As I Lay Lip-Synching, Lypsinka Must Be Destroyed!, Lypsinka IS Harriet Craig!, Lypsinka! The Boxed Set (2001 Drama Desk nomination, Washington, D.C. Helen Hayes Award win for Outstanding Non-Resident Production / Outstanding Lead Actor nomination, wins for Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle Award, Best Sound Design and L.A. Weekly Theatre Award for Best Solo Performance); and special events (such as Doin' What Comes Natur'lly, on Broadway with Bette Midler, Elaine Stritch and Patti LuPone, and London's Meltdown Festival curated by Morrissey).
Formerly a rehearsal pianist at American Ballet Theater, Mr. Epperson's theatrical career was launched in the mid-1980s when he wrote the book, lyrics and music of Ballet Of The Dolls and Dial "M" For Model at La Mama ETC. 1999 brought Epperson's dramatic stage debut in Messages For Gary at The New York Fringe Festival. In 2004 Mr. Epperson appeared Off Broadway in The Roaring Girle with The Foundry Theatre. The same year he was the subject of a stage festival at DC's Studio Theatre, which included his autobiographical piece John Epperson: Show Trash, As I Lay Lip-Synching, and his play, My Deah: Medea For Dummies, the Medea tale set in The New South. Also in 2004 Epperson played The Stepmother in the New York City Opera production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella at Lincoln Center's New York State Theater. The play My Deah opened in an Obie Award-winning production Off Broadway in October 2006 and is now published and licensed by Samuel French.
His acclaimed Off-Broadway show The Passion of the Crawford, a fantasia on the personality of Joan Crawford, toured to California, Florida and Washington, D.C. Lypsinka launched the 2007 Spring collection of MAC Cosmetics centered around the Barbie doll. Epperson's version of James Kirkwood's infamous play Legends! was produced at Studio Theatre in DC, Summer 2010. In 2011 Lypsinka performed in a Fifth Avenue window of Bergdorf Goodman as a launch for fashion week. Epperson and Lypsinka are the subjects of an Emmy-winning television documentary for PBS. He provided the preface for the Rizzoli photo book Persona, and is the author of a new screenplay Happy Everything. Mr. Epperson has also written for The Guardian (U.K.), The New York Times, The Washington Post and Interview and The Daily Beast. The sequel to My Deah is in the works. For more information, visit www.lypsinka.com.
Kevin Malony is a director and producer whose work has been seen internationally for the past 20 years. In New York he has produced or been produced at Lincoln Center's Serious Fun Festival, Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, The Town Hall, and on and off Broadway. The Zipper Theater, The John Houseman Theater, La Mama, HERE, Dixon Place, The Joyce Theatre P.S. 122, and others. He is the founder and artistic director of TWEED TheaterWorks, a non-profit producing organization that has been a forerunner in the downtown New York arts community for twenty years. For ten years, from 1986 to 1996, he produced The TWEED New Works Festival, which presented the early work of many of today's renowned theater artists. He has worked with an array of avant garde artists, and has on-going relationships with many well known performers - and not so well known - performers. He produced John (Lypsinka) Epperson's first theatrical engagement The Many Moods of Lypsinka in 1987, and since that time has directed full productions and personal appearances with Lypsinka around the world. He produced the critically acclaimed Lypsinka! The Boxed Set (Helen Hayes Award, 2002). He was the original producer of Bill Russell's Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens which ran on London's West End and presented the first incarnation of John Kelly's OBIE award winning Pass The Blutwurst Bitte. He co-directed Mark Dendy's Dream Analysis at Dance Theater Workshop and directed Paved Paradise Redux, John Kelly's homage to Joni Mitchell, at The Abrons Arts Center, and on tour. Other directing/writing credits include: Brenda Bergman in Endangered Species, celebrity psychic Dr. Julia Wonder in Make My Dreams Your Reality, drag chanteuse Varla Jean Merman's The Christmas Concert at Weill Recital Hall, Jackie Hoffman's Kosher Khristmas Parts 1 & 2, and the critically-acclaimed satire The Mailman Always Comes Twice by Stephen Pell. He is currently working with Tom Judson (AKA Gus Maddox), Joseph Keckler, Julie Halston and Peter Wing-Healey on new
projects. In 1996 he initiated The TWEED Fractured Classicks Series which presents fully staged readings of classic plays and movies featuring, unique casting choices.
STEVE HALSEY is an actor and comic based in Los Angeles, and is honored to be working once again with the great Lypsinka; an incomparable star that he has admired since he was a small child. As an actor he has been in multiple episodes of "Will & Grace," he made out with David On "Six Feet Under" and more recently he played with Britney Spears on "How I Met Your Mother" and Lucy Liu on "Southland." As a comic, he has headlined all over the country, including for the RSVP Cruise line. He performs for gay people, straight people, mixed people and on one occasion, naked people. On stage, he was an original member of the acclaimed and fascinating Streep Tease (an evening of all men performing Meryl Streep Monologues) where he received high praise for his "hyper-sexualized" portrayal of Francesca Johnson in Bridges of Madison County. And San Francisco audiences may recognize Steve from one of his favorite projects, Corpus Christi which has been performed up here many times over the past few years.
Tuesdays, September 4 and 11 at 8:00 PM,
Wednesdays, September 5 and 12 at 8:00 PM
Thursdays, September 6 and 13 at 8:00 PM
Fridays, September 7 and 14 at 9:30 PM
Saturdays, September 8 and 15 at 9:30 PM
Sundays, September 9 and 16 at 7:00 PM
Tickets are $35. Call 800-380-3095 // 415-394-1189 or visit www.therrazzroom.com. The Rrazz Room at Hotel Nikko is located at 222 Mason Street, San Francisco, Calif.
Photo credit: Frances Hills