Featured on LOGO, HBO and Comedy Central, funny girl Marga Gomez arrives in Boston for a one-night performance this evening, Thursday, June 13 at Club Café in the South End.
By Jennifer Dettman
Her comedy has been featured on LOGO, HBO and Comedy Central. She has been called “astounding” by Armistead Maupin. In Premiere magazine Robin Williams hailed her as “amazing” and described her as “a lesbian Lenny Bruce.”
On Thursday June 13 Gomez plays Club Café one night only in a show called Marga Gomez, Funny Lesbian.
[Boston Spirit] From comedy clubs and blockbuster movies to the beloved Celluloid Closet, you’ve been on every size stage and screen. What has been your most gratifying and/or proudest work so far?
[Marga Gomez] I lived in Hollywood for a couple years. Had the manager, the agent, the hair. Auditioned for crap with a bunch of hos. Hated it. I do like the residual checks. My passion is live performance. I’m not just kissing up here, but the most gratifying moment in 2013 was in Boston at the lounge of the Charles Street Playhouse during the Boston Women in Comedy Festival. It was standing room only and the audience was mostly straight, like they had just come a Red Sox game. I was scared, but charged up. Go big or go home, I told myself. Well they roared from beginning to end, and it showed me a lot about the hearts of your people and how humor can cut through all our differences. It certainly wasn’t the biggest room I ever played, but I’m still high from it. My lifetime greatest moment was doing five minutes of comedy on the pitcher’s mound of Yankee Stadium during the Gay Games way back in, I think, 1994 — just before Cyndi Lauper.
[BS] Why fly out from San Francisco for just one night?
[MG] I feel in any new relationship it’s best to start slow. I mean my Club Café show will be fast paced — like Grindr meets Dial-A-Joke. But if I played here more than one night, Boston might take me for granted. You see, I want Boston to want me. This isn’t just a one night stand. I’m playing for keeps. Boston and I will have more dates in the future. But on June 13, we’re going to keep it light, have some laughs and drinks and build the connection. I could see myself moving in someday. If it was legal, I would literally gay-marry Boston, not any one person, but the entire city.
[BS] But San Francisco wants you. Didn’t you win Best Comedian three years in a row from the San Francisco Bay Guardian?
[MG] You’ve been Googling I see. Yes. I began my gay comedy career in San Francisco twenty five years ago and I have many fans there. It’s beautiful. Great baseball. Awesome burritos. But I’m falling in love with another city, your city.
[BS] Bostonians love NYC, do you care to mention your longtime affair with her, but lack of desire to fully commit? (laughs)
[MG] No way. I was born and raised there. New York is my mom. I can’t have an affair with my mom! I’m Catholic.
[BS] What was it like growing up there?
[MG] I went to Catholic School in Manhattan in an Irish Puerto Rican neighborhood which was confusing. I still jig to Sals. New York also made me gay. The lesbian bars when I came out were always shadowy. You had to descend the stairs into them like you were going to hell. Sexy right? Now that I’m a famous lesbian comedian, I’ll play Gotham Comedy Club, Dixon Place or Joe’s Pub every year. I made the list of GONYC Magazine’s “Women We Love” twice and have had the tremendous honor of performing my theater pieces at The Public Theater. Through it all, I kept my eye on the hot city next door, Boston.
[BS] This sounds like a new romance, but I know that your first Boston shows were almost twenty years ago for The Theater Offensive at the Boston Center For the Arts.
[MG] I wasn’t ready for love twenty years ago. I could only like Boston. Good things have happened for me here. The Theater Offensive produced three of my shows. I got to play the Comedy Connection before it closed. I even performed at Boston Pride on a bill with Taylor Dayne in 2009. But it wasn’t until March of this year when I spent a week in the South End that Boston knocked me off my feet. I was bestowed with Theater Offensive’s “2013 Out on The Edge” award at their ClimACTS, gal. I also taught a comedy workshop to LGBT and ally students and was featured in the 2013 Boston Women in Comedy Festival. I met more local people than ever and they were all so nice — nicer than anywhere I’ve been. For example, I dropped some change on the floor at the T station, and two school kids fell over each other to bring me back my nickels and dimes. Then I experienced Boston’s Restaurant Week 2013, which apparently lasts for two weeks. I like how you play fast and loose with the calendar here. I had three meals in a row at B&G Oysters. Best oysters I ever had, It was after one of these feasts that I saw my foodie crush and Bravo’s Top Chef winner Kristen Kish in her chef coat on the corner. She let me take a picture with her. Don’t you love a woman in uniform?
[BS] Who have you been kissing lately?
[MG] Please tell Boston I am a good kisser and I am single.
[BS] Who’s the hottest gay couple in The Bizness?
[MG] Hands down, Lily Tomlin and Jayne Wagner is couple number one for me. Classy, funny with decades of staying power! I got to meet them when I lived in LA.
They attended some of my shows, which was mindblowing because they are my greatest comic influence. I’ll tell your readers a scandalous secret: I was invited to their house for Cuban food and Lily Tomlin herself pulled up to my place in her old Rolls Royce to give me a ride. It was just me and Lily driving along Santa Monica Boulevard, and I had the hugest urge to put my hand on her knee but controlled myself because that would be inappropriate, and she would have kicked me to the curb before I got my dinner.
[BS] Well, Boston loves Lily, but that’s not very scandalous.
[MG] I know. My real scandalous secret involves a fling with a playboy playmate who giggled when she came. But it’s too raw for print. I’ll tell it at the show. [x]
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