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Cabaret Review (LA): A Lesbian Cabaret by Beth Malone at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitellos.

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Michael Sterling continues to bring top musical comedy stars to his supper club Sterling’s Upstairs At Vitellos. These evenings are almost always a delight and have featured many of LA’s musical theatre performers in a cabaret setting.

Beth Malone, a New York Theatre Star, brought her new cabaret act there this last weekend. She was basically trying out some material and a script to see how it played. Judging from the audience response, it went very well.

Beth Malone appeared in Broadway’s Ring Of Fire and Off Broadway in The Marvelous Wonderettes (a show imported from LA). Most recently she starred in The Musical Theatre Guild’s production of Fade Out Fade In, playing the Carol Burnett role. That evening was also a success.

Ms. Malone calls her act a Lesbian Cabaret. She is a declared lesbian and proud of it. In the act she traced her beginnings as a cowgirl and her difficult relationship with her father once she declared herself gay. Like many gay people her story is a familiar but painful one. It took time to accept herself as wanting to have sex with a woman. She even got engaged to a man along the way, but once she had had her first lesbian encounter learned she couldn’t deny her truth. She later met and married her lover and is living happily with her to this day.

I wish she had not concentrated so on her desire for a woman but had also told us about her career and the pitfalls of being a lesbian in show business. I think the inclusion of some of her theatre work would have been a nice balance. She displayed a good sense of humor about herself and the act she was presenting. She even had a section where she let the audience ask her any question about being a lesbian.

Even so, what was missing from the evening for me was her emotions. She reported them, but didn’t show us much. Instead the evening appeared to be about her desire to get laid. Beth Malone is a talented performer and despite my slight qualms, I enjoyed seeing her perform. Beth Malone performed at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitellos on March 21st. Next week is Alexandra Billings. Come give the club a try and by all means try the delicious food.

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