Billy’s Ptown Nights

If it’s July 4th in the US of A, it’s Billy in Provincetown.  This year, our nation’s birthday was marred by bad weather, not unlike when Washington crossed the Delaware (which I suspect had just as much debauchery).  But the rain did not dampen my spirits when it came to shows and sex and such.  Given my unique perspective, let me suggest what you should be seeing should you venture to our little fishing village on the edge of forever.


This will be the last season for the Provincetown Art House – at least under the aegis of Mark Cortale.  But he’s certainly going out with a bang.  I zipped into town in time to see Max von Essen, ably accompanied by the legendary Billy Stritch.  As I thought about my review while sitting in the darkened venue, I ran out of superlatives.  Obviously, Max is attractive.  He’s charming.  He’s personable.  He sings like a dream.  He moves with ease.  He, in short, is the whole package – and let us not even discuss his package.  From the lowest notes of his range, to the top (so to speak), the voice is perfectly placed and borders on luxurious.  More than anything else, Max knows how to use his lyrics to tell a story – and chooses material ideally suited for his abundant gifts.  And I am not exaggerating.  Go see him whenever you can.  The rest of this season can be found at


Then there’s Varla Jean Merman.  You will not find a stronger, more talented performer anywhere in the world.  What Varla does is something nobody else could do – marry impeccable vocals with ideal timing and outrageous material.  She will deliver a joke or a premise and you will think it couldn’t be funnier – and then she’ll top herself…something hard to do in Ptown, a city with nary a top in sight!  Merman’s show this year, Stand By Your Drag, is timely with all the anti-drag legislation.  The material is fresh, the original songs are tuneful, and the lyrics are laden with single, double, and even triple entendres.  She’s at the Crown & Anchor, which is one-stop-shopping for your gaycation needs.  Check out their fully-packed schedule at


I then sauntered over to the Post Office Café and Cabaret, but only partook of the Cabaret portion (I will return for the Café).  First up was the hysterical Judy Gold, whose new show is called Everything Hurts Everywhere All At Once.  She’s one of those rare comics who can seamlessly weave spontaneous banter with the audience amongst tried and true material.  If there’s someone funnier, smarter, and with more charisma – I’ve not met them.  Always provocative, always hysterical, and always delivers.  She is only performing Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with tickets at

Also at the Post Office is Schartt$ Creek – a parody of Schitt’s Creek.  This is an alternate ending by writer and performer Jamie Morris (of Mommie Queerest fame), who plays Moira.  And it’s a HOOT!  Actually it’s a hoot and a half, but I’m not sure how that translates for our metric-crazed Canadians.  Nonetheless, I highly recommend checking it out on Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturday.

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