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Monday, October 12, 2009

Deeper Dish with Lypsinka

There's no one else quite like the fabulous Lypsinka, who has been called The Goddess of Showbiz and The Personification of Pizzazz. She's a one-of-a-kind groovy gal who first began enthralling throngs of admirers back in 1988 when she made her Off-Broadway debut at the historic Provincetown Playhouse. Since then the lovely lady has performed in such riveting shows as Lypsinka! The Boxed Set and The Passion of the Crawford, in which she portrayed her own idol, Joan Crawford. She has also made many television and film appearances, including the HBO special, Sandra After Dark, With Your Hostess, Sandra Bernhard (1992), the George Michael music video, "Too Funky" (1992), Wigstock: The Movie (1995), and Another Gay Movie (2006). The busy gal has even found time to provide DVD commentary on two camp classics, Mommie Dearest and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? And in March 2009, she returned to the New York City stage opposite Charles Busch in a reading of James Kirkwood's infamous 1986 Broadway-play-that-wasn't, Legends! (she played the role originally portrayed by Mary Martin). I am so honored to have the legendary Lypsinka here on the Dish to discuss her glamorous life and answer a few pop culture questions.

Let's start at the very beginning: Can you briefly share with us the story of how you went from a modest upbringing in Louisiana to being discovered?
This is slightly tricky, because my hideous maid John Epperson is originally from Mississippi. In my first Off-Broadway show called I Could Go On Lip-Synching, I came from Louisiana. But I was actually born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and clawed my way to Sutton Place. But let's take John Epperson's story: His beginnings were also fairly modest, but his parents had a TV and there was a local movie house, and that's how he got his taste of glamour, which led to a desire to be in the middle of the bright lights. Blame it on the media!

Since you mentioned your dreadful maid, Mr. Epperson, what has he been up to lately besides taking care of your every whim?
He plays the piano a lot.

What acting role have you enjoyed playing the most?
The Lana Turner role of Lora Meredith in a parody production called Imitation of Imitation of Life. If we had done it again, we agreed we would call it Cheap Imitation Of Life.

Out of all your handsome ex-boyfriends, who was your favorite?
Since some of them are still alive, I feel I should decline answering (check out her website, for an impressive list of her ex-beaus, including Brad Pitt, whom she once dated).

What three things do you look for in a potential boyfriend?
A good soul, the ability to make me laugh, and a handsome face.

What do you like most about living in New York City?
Glamour at my fingertips.

Since you are one of the most glamorous gals around, do you have any helpful but practical fashion advice that you can share with us?
Have a waistline that matches the rest of your body.

In high school I was:
Funny and scared.

When I was growing up, I never missed a television episode of:

My favorite Broadway musical I've ever seen is:
It's hard to pick a favorite, but I really enjoyed the original cast of Dreamgirls, Lena Horne's show in 1981, the original cast of A Chorus Line in 1975, and Liza Minnelli's appearance in the original production of Chicago, also 1975.

If I could go back in time and see any Broadway show, I would see:
Either Ethel Merman in Gypsy, one of Judy Garland's appearances at The Palace, Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl, the saucy French show Irma La Douce, or Dolores Gray in anything.

If I could star in any role in any Broadway musical or play, I would be:
Martha in Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

The very first album, tape or CD that I purchased with my own money was:
Gee, I don't remember. Could have been Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits (Vol. 1)!

If I was stranded on a desert island for a year, I would want to listen to:
Mahler symphonies, a Bernard Herrmann compilation, the Irma La Douce original cast recording, Judy At Carnegie Hall, and Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits (Vol. 1)!

Five movies that I think everyone should be required to watch are:
The Wizard of Oz
Marnie (Hitchcock, 1964, starring Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery)
Imitation of Life (the Douglas Sirk version)
The Fury (directed by Brian De Palma)

My favorite Joan Crawford film is:
The glam, color, horror movie BERSERK!

If I could give an Oscar for any neglected film performance of the past, I would give one to:
Lypsinka in The Lypsinkable Molly Brown.

The last good book I read was:
The Man by Irving Wallace from 1964. It's about the first (fictional) black president.

If I could choose People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive of 2009, it would be:
Probably some farmhand in Iowa.

If I could have anyone in the world - living or dead - be a guest at my fabulous cocktail party, I would invite the following three people:
Judy Garland, President Obama and Kay Thompson.

What's next for Lypsinka?
There's the possiblity of another appearance at The Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. We've been there three times.

Thank you, Lypsinka, for getting Deeper with us here on the Dish. To learn more about Lypsinka, check out her website at You can also become her Facebook friend by clicking here.

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