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Theatre, Music, etc.


August 29, 2008


Coming out as stand-ups

Dayton--Nine times out of ten, when a trio of queens are putting on a show that gets written up in an LGBT newspaper, you can be sure that someone is going to wind up lip-syncing “I’m Every Woman.”

But when the show is comprised of Michele Balan, Vickie Shaw and Poppy Champlin, it’s not drag queens that are taking the stage. Instead, it’s the Queer Queens of Qomedy. (It’s up for debate if that last word is pronounced “comedy” or “kwomedy.” The lack of a U is very confusing.)

Champlin has performed on VH1, A&E, Lifetime and Comedy Central. Well, every stand-up comedian who has been on television in the last 20 years has been on Comedy Central at some point, but it’s still an impressive thing for a lesbian comedian to put on her résumé.

She’s also the driving force behind the Queer Queens of Qomedy tour, which is coming to Wiley’s in Dayton on September 11 to 14.

She’s studied with Second City in Chicago, performed at the closing of the Gay Games, worked on a sitcom, made annual pilgrimages to do a show in Provincetown and at the Dinah Shore Weekend and knocked them dead at sea on R Family Vacations and Atlantis Cruises.

The cruises let her wear her favorite bathing suit, a three-piece.

“You know, the three-piece? Top, bottom and the curtain that goes over the whole thing?” quoted one of her bits. “Kids are coming up to me going, ‘What time’s the puppet show?’ ”

Champlin is bringing two other massively talented comedians with her.

Vickie Shaw, a yellow rose if ever there was one, is “a Texan by birth and a lesbian by Grace. And if you see Grace, tell her I say hi.”

At the same time she decided to really pursue her stand-up career, Shaw came out as lesbian.

“I would have come out as a stand-up, but it would have killed my parents,” she quips.

Her brother, however, was not well pleased with her lesbianism.

“It’s a cult! That ho-mo-sex-you-al-it-tee is a cult! They suck you in,” she drawls, recalling his reaction.

“I know,” she replied. “Why do you think I joined?”

Of course, coming to the realization that she was queer was not easy for her, either.

“I spent my whole childhood going, ‘Oh my God. I may be attracted to women, but I can’t be a lesbian. I like Laura Ashley polished cottons! And I throw like a girl! And I cry for no apparent reason all the time!”

“Oh my God, I’m a gay man!” she realized.

Joining Shaw and Champlin is Michele Balan, who proved that missing an L in your name won’t prevent you from killing on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, in which she was the final female competitor in season four.

She walked out on stage and looked at the monitor during episode 7.

“I don’t even look like myself,” she said. “The hair and the makeup--I look like a stand-in for myself.”

The brassy New Yorker has the attitude to match her home town. On a trip to Montréal, she was confounded by the times listed on her itinerary.

“I was arriving at eighteen-hundred o’clock. I told my friend I’d call her at twenty-hundred. I didn’t know what time it was the whole trip,” she said. “Why does Canada use military time but never go to war? Does anybody know?”

“Canada actually offered to help us in the Iraq war,” she continued. “They were going to send their weapon of mass destruction--Celine Dion.”

These three weapons of mass distraction have shows on Thursday, September 11 and Sunday, September 14 at 8:30 pm, while on Friday, the performance is at 9 pm. Saturday will see two shows, 8 pm and 10:30 pm.

Warning! Vickie Shaw will not at the Thursday show. Of course, that will just give you an excuse to see Q3 twice . . .

Tickets are $10 on Thursday and Sunday, $15 on Friday and $20 on Saturday. Wiley’s is at 101 Pine Street in Dayton, and reservations can be made online at or by calling 937-2245653.

This material is copyrighted by the Gay People’s Chronicle. Permission is given only to repost the headline, byline, and one or two paragraphs, with the full name of the Gay People’s Chronicle and a link to the full article on our website. Reproduction of the entire article is prohibited without specific written permission.



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