Iconic lesbian comedienne, actress and singer Lea DeLaria and drag star Varla Jean Merman will perform Feb. 13 at a Stonewall National Museum & Archives fundraiser at Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale.
Here’s the complete news release:
Saturday, February 13, 2016 Stonewall National Museum & Archives (SNMA) presents an elegant gala soiree and concert, Get Closer with Lea DeLaria and Varla Jean Merman, the largest annual fundraiser of the year for SNMA, to be held at the Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale, FL. Lea DeLaria, star of Orange is The New Black, ground-breaking lesbian comedian, and jazz singer, will be interviewed and perform in an evening of entertainment hosted by internationally-acclaimed drag queen actress and singer Varla Jean Merman. This event is presented by Parker Playhouse as a benefit for Stonewall National Museum & Archives. This gala is presented with thanks to media sponsors South Florida Gay News, HotSpots! Media Group, and Mark’s List.
The fundraiser begins at 6:00 pm on stage at the Parker Playhouse with an 8:0 pm. Gala tickets cost $200 and include seats in the first rows of the center orchestra, pre-show open bar, sumptuous passed hors d’oeuvres and a post show champagne reception. Also featured that evening is a silent auction packed with a variety of exclusive items including hotel and dining experiences, artwork and more, on stage at the Parker Playhouse before the show. ONLY tickets purchased through the Stonewall Museum at stonewall-museum.org or by calling 954-763-8565 support the organization’s important mission to preserve and share LGBT culture.
A preview party featuring the exclusive items and experiences in the silent auction benefiting Stonewall National Museum & Archives will take place on Thursday, February 11, 2016 from 7-9 pm at Stonewall National Museum – Wilton Manors Gallery, 2157 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33304. Free and open to the public, a ticket to the Stonewall gala is not required in order to attend. Guests are invited to bid on items in the Stonewall fundraiser or “buy it now” to purchase auction items that night.
ABOUT LEA DELARIA
Lea DeLaria seems to have achieved overnight stardom with her SAG Award winning, stand-out role as ‘Carrie ‘Big Boo’ Black’ in the Netflix hit series “Orange is the New Black.” However, DeLaria’s multi- faceted career as a comedian, actress and jazz musician, has in fact, spanned decades.
Lea holds the distinction of being the first openly gay comic on television in America which led to countless Television and Film roles portraying Police Lieutenants, PE Teachers and the Lesbian who inappropriately hits on straight women. Selected TV credits: “Awkward,” “Clarence,” “Californication,” “The Oblongs,” “One Live to Live,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Will and Grace,” “The Oblongs,” “Friends” & “Matlock.” Selected Film credits: First Wives Club, Dear Dumb Diary, Edge of Seventeen.
She’s received Obie & Theater World Awards, and a Drama Desk nomination for her portrayal as ‘Hildy’ in the Public Theatre’s revival of On The Town, an Ovation nomination for The Boys From Syracuse, and has played both Eddie & Dr. Scott in the gender-bending Broadway musical The Rocky Horror Show.
Lea was the featured vocalist at the 50th Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival, and has performed in some of the most prestigious houses in the world including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Chicago Symphony, Hollywood Bowl, The Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House.
Lea has five records on the Warner Jazz and Classics label and her book "Lea's Book of Rules for the World" is in its third printing at Bantam Doubleday and Dell. Her sixth record, House Of David delaria+bowie=jazz, is available in stores and online now.
ABOUT JEFFERY ROBERSON AKA VARLA JEAN MERMAN
Jeffery Roberson aka Varla Jean Merman starred in the new musical Lucky Guy opposite Leslie Jordan in NY at the Little Schubert in spring 2011 prompting The New York Times to rave, “If Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman had stood in front of the right pair of funhouse mirrors, they might have resembled Ms. Merman and Mr. Jordan in stature as well as comedic talent”. Jeffery recently completed shooting the feature film Girls Will Be Girls 2012 and Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads (now available on www.SethTV.com). He played the title role of Giancarlo Menotti’s opera The Medium in New York at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theatre in October of 2012.
He guest starred as Varla Jean on Ugly Betty in the final season of the show and was also featured on Bravo’s Project Runway Season 5 as the winning model for the show’s drag challenge. He played the role of Mary Sunshine in the revival of Chicago on Broadway and also made his network television debut on All My Children in the recurring role of lady of the evening Rosemary Chicken. He shared the Outfest Film Festival “Best Actor” Award and the Aspen HBO Film Festival “Best Actress” Award with his costars Jack Plotnick and Clinton Leupp for his featured performance in the cult classic film Girls Will Be Girls (Sundance 2003) directed by Richard Day.
Jeffery also appeared at the Long Wharf Theatre in Hartford Stage’s production of The Mystery of Irma Vep directed by Michael Wilson performing the roles originally made famous by Charles Ludlam. In 2010 Jeffery won an Elliot Norton Award for Best Musical Performance in The Phantom of the OPRAH. He returned to Boston in the fall of 2011 to star as Mother Superior in SpeakEasy Stage’s production of The Divine Sister by Charles Busch.
As Varla Jean, Jeffery has filled cabarets and concert halls across the world including the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, the New York Public Theater, London’s Soho Theatre and LA’s Renberg Theatre. Jeffery wrote and starred in the short Improve Your History with Varla Jean: Stonewall, for the launch of the MTV’s television network Logo and was also seen in their One Night Standup: Dragtastic special.
About the Stonewall National Museum and Archives
Now celebrating more than 41 years, Stonewall National Museum & Archives is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c) (3) that promotes understanding through preserving and sharing the proud culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their significant role in society. Visit stonewall-museum.org or www.facebook.com/stonewallmuseum.
If you go
Get Closer with Lea DeLaria and Varla Jean Merman, the largest annual gala fundraiser benefitting Stonewall National Museum & Archives. Lea DeLaria, star of Orange is The New Black, ground-breaking lesbian comedian, and singer, will be interviewed and perform in an evening of entertainment hosted by legendary drag queen actress and singer Varla Jean Merman.
Gala tickets cost $200 including seats in the first rows of the center orchestra, pre-show open bar, sumptuous passed hors d’oeuvres and a post show champagne reception with the stars. Stonewall National Museum & Archive’s largest annual fundraiser starts off with a swanky silent auction packed with exclusive items including hotel and dining experiences, artwork and other items of distinction, on stage at the Parker Playhouse before the show.
Only tickets purchased directly through Stonewall National Museum & Archives support the organization’s mission and programming through this fundraiser.
$200 – Only 200 tickets available!