Tuesday, November 1, 2011

For Lovin' Out Loud: Lea DeLaria

Ben Brantley of the New York Times describes Lea as, "Every inch a star." Lea DeLaria, who already enjoyed a career as a Broadway singer and stand-up comedian, made her recording debut in 2000. Lea was confirmed as one of the best jazz singers of our time.

The first openly gay comic to appear on national television in the United States (Arsenio Hall in 1993 and from this point forward she has toured the world with her one-of-a-kind blend of cool jazz and in your face comedy. Ms. DeLaria's work in television is as unique as it is varied. She has created strange characters for daytime soaps (One Life to Live ), Primetime (Will & Grace, Friends and Matlock ) The small screen gave way to the big screen, lea has played parts in major motion pictures (The First Wives Club) but more often leads in independents like Edge of Seventeen, for which her version of Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" won a 1999 GLAMA Award for Best Jazz Performance. In Fat Rose and Squeaky she played the title role along side Academy Award winner Louise Fletcher and four time Emmy winner Cicely Tyson. As a result of numerous musical comedy turns, Ms. DeLaria's singing career blossomed. She toured night clubs and concert halls. It was at one of these that Lea was spotted by Warner Jazz and signed the deal. Her very first record Play It Cool was named Album of the Year by the London Times, with the single “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” remaining at #1 on Jazz radio in the U.S. for 2 months. Lea has toured most of the large Jazz Festivals including London, New York City JVC, and Montreux, culminating in her appearance as the featured vocalist of The 50TH Anniversary of The Newport Jazz Festival Tour. Fresh from a British tour the multi-talented DeLaria is gracing us with those many talents. Don’t miss this!

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