Los Angeles, CA, December 11, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Un-Cabaret and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Lily Tomlin / Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center Present:
"100% Happy 88% of the Time"
Written & Performed by Beth Lapides
Beth Lapides considers herself a 'homo-lectual' - she thinks gay – and that thinking guided her as a pioneer of the ‘alternative comedy’ movement.
Although she's only slightly gay herself, writer/actor/comedian/producer/teacher/artist/ author/yogi/TV and radio personality Beth Lapides has done a lot for the cultural life of the gay and lesbian community in Los Angeles. And she’s about to do a lot more when she performs her new solo show as a benefit for the LA Gay & Lesbian Center and teaches a workshop there in January 2010.
Beth’s legendary ground-breaking show Un-Cabaret started at the Women’s Building in downtown LA as an attempt to bring comic entertainment to the under-served community of lesbian artists. As they said, they couldn’t go to the ‘straight’ comedy clubs because they became the butt of the jokes. Beth created a show that was un-homophobic, un-xenophobic and un-misogynistic. She called it the ‘Un-Cabaret’.
After several wildly-popular shows at the Women’s Building, Beth moved the Un-Cabaret to Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica for another run, before settling into LunaPark, a nightclub in the heart of West Hollywood. Un-Cabaret didn’t just serve a gay and lesbian audience. It provided a liberating forum for gay and lesbian comedians like Terry Sweeney (the first openly gay performer on network TV when he appeared on Saturday Night Live) and many comics who had never been out onstage before like Taylor Negron, Mike McDonald, Tim Bagley, John Riggi (co-executive producer of 30 Rock) and Michael Patrick King (the writer-director-executive producer of “Sex and the City”). She lured Scott Thompson (of Kids in the Hall) onstage for the first time as himself – without any wigs, costumes or characters to hide behind. She got drag icon Jackie Beat onstage and out of drag as Kent Fuhrer, the man behind the woman – and later featured him, along with other ‘out’ performers like Terry Sweeney, John Riggi, Bob Smith, Rene Hicks and Sabrina Matthews in “Coming Out Party”, a DVD of comedians telling their coming out stories. The Un-Cabaret also provided an important platform and launching pad for gay-friendly performers like Kathy Griffin and bi- comics like Andy Dick and Margaret Cho.
Beth’s comedy spoken word show, “Say the Word” at the Skirball Cultural Center, also gave a voice to under- and un-represented gay and lesbian writers sharing their own personal stories, featuring writers like Carol Leifer, Gary Janetti (Will & Grace), Jon Kinally (Ugly Betty), Michael Patrick King, John Riggi, Dan Bucatinsky (The Comeback), Scott King (Mad-TV) and others.
Beth and her partner, Un-Cabaret producer Greg Miller, have been teaching their workshop, The Comedian's Way, for over ten years, helping writers, performers and other humans (gay, lesbian, bi, victims of crime and disease, yoga teachers, even lawyers) find their authentic voice and express their deepest stories in the funniest possible way. They teach privately, and have taught at UCLA extension, CalArts, Humber College, the Skirball Center, Media Bistro, Judy Carter’s Comedy Workshop and many other venues.
This will be their first workshop at the Gay & Lesbian Center and it will focus on developing material for personal essays and one-person shows.
Lapides is an original thinker who has contributed her time, energy and creativity to gay and lesbian causes and sees them as part of a broader human liberation movement. Her columns and opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Utne Reader and on NPR’s All Things Considered. Her first book, DID I WAKE YOU: Haikus for Modern Living, was published in 2006 (Soft Skull Press). Her column “My Other Car is a Yoga Mat” is now syndicated to LA Yoga and several other magazines.
Between producing, teaching, writing and performing, Beth also creates visual art that has been exhibited in museums and galleries from Los Angeles to London, and her work has been featured in such productions as Nip/Tuck, My Wife and Kids and Spiderman 3. In fact her art and graphics are a big part of the visual presentation that accompanies “100% Happy 88% of the Time”. It’s like Al Gore’s presentation “An Inconvenient Truth”, but Beth’s humor and optimism make this show “A More Convenient Truth”. She’s also a lot funnier than Al Gore.