She rhymed “vagina” with “China” and “Carolina,” and declared that “Diarrhea is a water-based lubricant.” With the help of lowbrow technology, Adele’s Hello emerged from her “rectum swarming with disease.” There was a mash-up of RuPaul and Chris Christie. Her tribute to Prince? “This is how it sounds like/When my ass cries.”
And all this, and more, was just in her opening number.
Lady Bunny has been entertaining with transgressive wit and a sunshiny naugh- tiness for over 30 years (or “30-f*cking- years” as she put it) yet her act still seems as fresh as today. Granted, she has to explain the genesis of her Laugh-In-in- spired swinging cocktail party zingers to the millennials but the X-rated, un-PC jokes came thick’n’fast (faster than I could write any down). Sure some are groaners and one (a Jersey Shore reference) seemed a bit past its expiration date, but Bunny does Goldie, Judy, Jo Anne and Ruth proud.
Bunny’s daffy stage persona allows her to get away with friendly ribbing of her partner-in-crimeBiancaDelRiowithoutit ever seeming mean-spirited. Ditto for her jabs at OZ’s Persana Shoulders. And extra points for the local references.
After some terrible puns (“Philip Seymour Hoffman, he’s my heroine.”) and old-fashioned raunchy stand-up, Bunny displayed her disdain for Caitlyn Jenner and her support of Ted Cruz with a hysteri- cal take on My Favorite Things sending up Cait’s privileged life.
Presented by Daniel Nardicio, Bunny employed sharp and knowing humor to explore what can and can’t be said or made fun of any more. For example, because of political correctness “Dick van Dyke was made to change his name to Penis van Lesbian.”
Bunny expanded on this by sending up those words (“retard,” “tranny”) that have become verboten. “I don’t like the word ‘dinosaur’,” she stated, “but you don’t see me picketing the Museum of Natural His- tory.”
Discoursing on slut-shaming and fat- shaming and micro/macro-aggressions and cultural appropriation (citing Beyoncé and Bollywood), Bunny was certainly interest- ing but, about an hour into her act, got a li’l didactic; even she admitted she was get- ting “preachy.” But her important recogni- tion of free speech needs to be stated and Brava to Bunny for being very erudite and very dirty and very, very funny.
(Poor Bunny. Taking a break from shim- mying around the stage, all she had to sit down on was an off-to-the-side piano bench which she dragged to stage center. Surely, this Queen deserves a suitable throne.)
As a clip played of Joan Rivers—oh, do we miss her—from Lady Bunny’s 50th Birth- day Roast, Bunny changed into a glittery
caftan and returned to do two numbers by Sondheim who she’s “slowly discovering.” Rose’s Turn from Gypsy was followed by Follies’ I’m Still Here with revised lyrics touting K&B and Ruthie the Duck Lady as well as Bunny’s own durability. Very savvy.
Playing to a packed house, Lady Bunny exuded wry commonsense and a joyful irreverence, vital antidotes to these trou- bling times.