Adults and a youthful viewers can expertise the magic of Martha Graham Cracker this weekend
Dito van Reigersberg, a.okay.a. the colourful and hilariously over-the-top drag queen extraordinaire Martha Graham Cracker, is hitting the stage in Philly this weekend together with her one-of-a-kind cabaret present and trusty band. There can be two unforgettable performances, one unfiltered for adults and a PG-rated matinee efficiency for a youthful viewers. Reigersberg sat down with Metro to debate what to anticipate at a Martha Graham Cracker cabaret present, dive into why Martha is at all times unscripted, and clarify how vital it’s for a youthful viewers to expertise the magic of Martha Graham Cracker.
When was Martha Graham Cracker created?
Exhausting to say. I feel we’re turning 15 years previous this yr, however we’ve been in residency at L’Etage on sixth and Bainbridge since then. So, she’s fairly previous. I used to be even doing her earlier than that, however that was the start of me doing her each month. [L’Etage] just isn’t an enormous venue but it surely actually has a pleasant intimacy — it’s elegant and it’s the place I may see the viewers’s reactions and it [allowed me] to do that present the place I construct on what the viewers is giving me.
Your exhibits are all unscripted, however what do you do to arrange for a Martha Graham Cracker cabaret?
I do a variety of simply interested by what’s occurring within the information or what persons are interested by for the time being. There’s a variety of references to present occasions, however there’s additionally a variety of reference to what I’ve been going by means of. I’ll inform a ridiculous story, a few of which could not really be completely true. As an actor, they are saying you need to study your strains completely chilly so you may then be playful and simply go for a trip each time you carry out. And I feel it’s type of an identical factor [with Martha] the place I need to do my homework and take into consideration the entire issues I may discuss. Generally I make lengthy lists and take into consideration the whole lot that’s occurring on the earth or what I’ve been interested by or a humorous factor that’s occurred to me just lately. Or generally I’ll go someplace alone, perhaps eat dinner on my own or meditate on these issues, after which I’ll type of simply take the trip. I attempt to not plan it as a result of the viewers may be extra vital than the factor I’ve deliberate. I’m permitting myself to be permeable to what’s occurring within the house in actual time.
You might be performing a youngsters’ present as effectively. What are you able to inform me about that?
There could also be some songs, there could also be some singalongs, and I’ll undoubtedly learn a guide or two to the youngsters. That’ll be rather more PG-rated.
Why do you assume it’s vital for a youthful viewers to expertise the magic of Martha Graham Cracker?
There have been all these items within the information the place there are drag queens studying to youngsters at libraries which have been met with some pleasure and coolness, and in addition some protest. There’s this type of old school concept that you just make a toddler homosexual by exposing them to issues that may flip them homosexual — I simply know, being a homosexual man myself, that that’s simply not the way it works. So I suppose a part of what it’s, is that individuals have to be given the liberty to discover who they’re or come to phrases with who they’re. Youngsters have to be given choices, and choices with none panic. It’s thrilling that we’re residing in a time the place you actually can’t declare that you just’ve by no means met a homosexual individual or you may’t declare that you just don’t know what that’s. We’re much more conversant about that stuff. There may be pushback, in fact, with that old school concept of, “Oh, we are able to’t expose the youngsters [to this].” However I feel exposing even youngsters who will turn out to be straight sooner or later, it offers them an opportunity to consider how broad the spectrum of human beings [can be]. Their first impulse is to simply take everybody at face worth and never be set in strict classes. That’s the intense half, but additionally I simply assume youngsters wish to have enjoyable and wish to be playful and Martha Graham Cracker is essentially the most playful a part of who I’m. I do assume people who find themselves performers like myself know who their viewers is, and with an interactive efficiency, you know the way to regulate to the form of viewers that you’re seeing in entrance of you. When it’s an grownup present late at night time I alter a method, and when it’s a youngsters’ present at 11 a.m. I alter one other means.
How does it really feel to be performing on the Wilma?
I’m excited as a result of I by no means carried out on the Wilma, really, I’ve seen many performances and I like that firm and that theater. I’ve carried out within the foyer with the Bearded Girls many instances, so it appears like I’m transferring up on the earth. I made it to the primary theater with actual lights, and it’s tall and grand, and I feel they will pull some loopy set parts from previous exhibits, too, to embellish the house.
Now for the grownup cabaret extravaganza. What would you inform Philly audiences to anticipate?
Adults usually say “Ow, my face hurts from laughing and smiling a lot,” which is my favourite factor [that people] say. That’s one factor. One other factor is, nobody is protected. You might be sitting within the again row and since I’ve a wi-fi microphone and a highlight operator, I might be anyplace. I feel it’s a little bit bit scary, in an thrilling means, and hopefully you allow having laughed quite a bit.