It’s almost like seeing Judy Garland at the Palace…but it’s just more intimate.
Connie Champagne, who has long been the go-to person to perform Judy Garland in shows and movies, is bringing a different show to the beautiful Society Cabaret on Friday, July 25.
The show, entitled “Ready for My Close-Up” will “of course feature Garland songs,” says Champagne, “though I won't be portraying Miss Garland. I might do a bit of channeling. When you're celebrating the movies, even the midnight movies, it wouldn't be complete without a Garland tune or two.”
This show does focus on the love affair between movies and music. “I am stepping out from the Judy-mask for this one,” Champagne says as she wants to celebrate more her love for movies, “When I was 15, I had a good friend sneak me into the local ‘adult’ movie houses on Saturdays to see the midnight movies, including now cult classics like ‘Pink Flamingos,’ ‘Harold & Maude’ and ‘Valley of the Dolls’ as well as the Bond movies.”
She also says that her collaborators have a rich history with movies and music. Her accompanist Tammy Hall has worked with artists from all over the world and is bringing a song from Divine (from a John Waters film) to a new level and her director Allen Sawyer “used to manage the Castro Theater back in the day and knows a lot about film music. He brought us many original motion picture sheet music charts he has collected over the years.”
For this show and the date approaches, Champagne is still getting opinions from the four F’s – family, friends, fans and Facebook. “There were so many good movie songs seriously,” she says, “too many to do them all, so maybe we'll need to do a Part 2,” she jokes.
Champagne has been a long time San Francisco performer. She literally is called to play Judy Garland all the time (even a Canadian film company came to her for a short film last year called “The Man That Got Away.”) But Champagne has also blossomed as a musical artist in her own right, including having a successful run in the Boxcar Theatre’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” last year – where she rocked the stage and definitely free of the Garland persona.
Perhaps it’s her connection to Garland and love for over-the-top big wigs that the gay community has embraced Champagne. But it’s her talent that actually keeps her in the hearts and minds of San Francisco’s GLBT community.
Aside from what seems to be a great night of music from one of San Francisco’s shining stars, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful Society Cabaret which has great cocktails and food – and no minimums required.
To learn more about Champagne, go to www.conniechampagne.com.
To get tickets to her July 25 show and to learn more about the Society Cabaret, go to www.societycabaret.com.