The Lester Hamburg Studio will take on the atmosphere of an outrageous musical circus when Varla Jean Merman's Under A Big Top comes to City Theatre from June 8 through June 19.
The show times for this special two-week run are Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 pm and Saturdays at 8 and 10:30 pm. All seats are $25.
An outlandish chanteuse and sequined diva, Varla Jean's spectacular 75-minute show features songs, puns, send-ups, ventriloquism, video, yodeling, magic tricks, a hot dog puppet named Frank, processed cheese products and even a trapeze! Musical numbers include Christina Aguilera's Beautiful, dedicated to the Bearded Lady; Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now, sung to a video of Varla's weight gains; and an operatic medley of Bizet's Habanera and Cher's Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.
Varla Jean Merman's Under A Big Top is performed by Jeffery Roberson, directed by Michael Schiralli, and written by Roberson and Schiralli with additional material by Matt Callaway and music by David Brunetti.
Varla Jean Merman is the creation of Jeffery Roberson, who shared the 2003 Outfest Film Festival Best Actor Award and the Aspen HBO Film Festival Best Actress Award for his featured performance as Varla in Girls Will Be Girls, directed by Richard Day. He also appeared this year in Michael Wilson's production of The Mystery of Irma Vep at Hartford Stage and has appeared on Broadway in the role of Mary Sunshine in the revival of Chicago. Jeffery has also been seen on ABC's All My Children in the recurring role of lady of the evening, Rosemary Chicken.