What better way to ring in the New Year than with laughter? And there arenâ€™t many people on the planet who are wittier than SFâ€™s favorite funny lady Marga Gomez. Named â€śBest Comedian 2009â€ť in the SF Bay Guardian readers poll, she has appeared on stage, film and television. For a great timeâ€¦ go see Marga at The Marga Gomez New Yearâ€™s Eve Spectacular.
(Bay Times) I hear you have a love affair with the City of San Francisco. Care to comment?
(Marga Gomez) I wouldnâ€™t really call it a love affair. I have more of a sexual, torrid crazy apache dance with San Francisco. Itâ€™s like that movie Nine and a Half Weeks, and Iâ€™m Micky Rourke and San Francisco is Kim Bassinger. Iâ€™ve tried leaving San Francisco many times for other cities like New York and LA, but I always come back. Like I always say, â€śI wish I knew how to quit you.â€ť
Movie references aside, yes, I love San Francisco. It felt like home from the moment I landed on Castro Street as a 19-year-old baby dyke from Manhattan. Everyone was creative here, even the postal workers. I got involved with queer comedy at the Valencia Rose in 1984, and that was it. I found my calling. I wanted to be a famous lesbian comic, so I could meet women.
This is your 6th annual New Yearâ€™s event with Theatre Rhinoceros. Why Rhino?
New Yearâ€™s Eve is my favorite holiday of the year ever since I was a kid. My parents were performers, and they would come back from their NYE shows with party hats and noisemakers and party favors for me. I dreamed about being a NYE performer, the one at the center of the celebration. Itâ€™s always cool to say you have a New Yearâ€™s gig when you are a performer.
For six years The Rhino has hired me for what is truly a dream NYE gig. I get to perform at The Victoria Theatre, a beautiful former burlesque house, for 500 or more people who are in high spirits but not drunk that I can tell.
I began working with Rhino because I was impressed by their history as the longest running queer theater in America. They have produced three of my shows in the last ten years and have been there for me. I want them to thrive, and these New Yearâ€™s Spectaculars help that along. Plus, they have a very sexy audience at these shows, and you know we include NYE countdowns at random just to see our audience kiss.
How will this yearâ€™s Spectacular differ from previous ones?
This year will be more spectacular. I will do a completely different hour of comedy than I did last year. But Sarah Palin will still be trashed. Before I take the stage, we will feature not one opening act, but three of the most exciting new gay comics on the scene: local rising sensations Natasha Muse and David Hawkins and - flying in all the way from New York City - ukulele comic Ben Lerman. I canâ€™t wait to hear the audience go nuts for these kids. By popular demand DJ Oâ€™DJ will be back spinning live before both shows.
Will there by nudity?
Nudity? Ben Lerman and I are partially nude in some of our publicity shots. If anybody gets naked at the show, I hope itâ€™s our emcee John Fisher, the Artistic Director of Theatre Rhino. I bet he has a nice butt.
Why do you think we should start 2010 laughing?
Because if you start out crying, youâ€™ll ruin your mascara. And 2009 was just ridiculous.
The Marga Gomez New Yearâ€™s Eve Spectacular plays Dec. 31 (Thurs 7pm and 9pm) at the Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th Street, San Francisco. For tickets call (800) 838-3006 or at brownpapertickets.com. More info at therhino.org.