On Stage

Coming Home

Out and about with Betty Desire

Attend

What: Betty Desire: Coming Home

When: 7 pm Fri., Nov. 17

Where: Lincoln Theatre, Mount Vernon

Cost: $20

Info: http://www.lincolntheatre.org

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

If you’ve ever visited Rumors Cabaret on a Sunday night, chances are you’re familiar with Betty Desire’s cheeky karaoke performances, raunchy humor and live storytelling. But the real story of Betty Desire is one of tireless advocacy for equality and community.

Betty—a character developed by Bellingham resident Matt Endrizzi—has been singing and delighting local audiences for more than 22 years. But for Betty, her performances have always been a way to connect with people and build community.

When she hosts a special career retrospective Fri., Nov. 17 at Mount Vernon’s Lincoln Theatre, audiences attending “Betty Desire: Coming Home” will experience songs from all her past performances, what those songs meant to her, stories from her life and new material. If you’ve never been to one of her shows, Betty says to expect relaxed, comfortable times of laughter, listening to music and connecting with people. She’s also notorious for interviewing complete strangers, so be prepared to be singled out.

“I started Betty not because I wanted to be an entertainer, but because it gave me the vehicle to connect with so many people,” she says. “The mask of theater really allows me to walk up to a table and instigate a conversation. So I work at finding someone who is solitary and bringing them into the rest of the group.”

Endrizzi, who was born and raised in Mount Vernon, says he grew up wanting to be a pastor and graduated from Western Bible College in Clayburn, British Columbia. Somewhere along the line, Matt became Bellingham’s most iconic drag queen instead. And although her plans changed, Betty says she eventually realized she didn’t need to be in a church to have a congregation because her performances allowed her to connect with individuals in a way that hadn’t been possible before.

“I wasn’t off track thinking that I should go into pastoral work,” Betty says. “What I didn’t realize at the time was that my pastoral work was my daily life. Every time I do a Betty show I want to leave the audience uplifted in some way—just like a pastor would. I really feel like my job is to do everything I can to spread joy and compassion because I believe we all need that. Especially right now.”

In addition to continuing to perform on a regular basis and publish The Betty Pages—described as “Cascadia’s most inclusive alternative-lifestyle tabloid”—Betty says her next goal is to raise money and create an historical society so people have a resource for past accomplishments and failures of the gay community that she has called home for so long.

“That’s the plan for the next 62 years of my life,” she says. “Making sure the accomplishments of us old farts aren’t lost n the sands of time.”

Carpenter2
More On Stage...
Alps Alert
Getting in on the act

Last week, my officemate and I spent a few minutes of our deadline countdown belting out verses from “My Favorite Things.”

It may not have been the appropriate time or place to croon about “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” or “bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,” but…

more »
A Doll's House
Two takes on Ibsen

Nora Helmer’s husband is a clueless jerk who treats his wife like brainless chattel, but that didn’t stop audiences who first watched Danish playwright Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House from being aghast when her character chose to leave her spouse—and her children—behind at the end of the…

more »
Fright Nights
A terrifying timeline of events

Every Halloween, I go a little crazy trying to figure out what to focus my attention on when it comes to highlighting the horrors of the holiday. This year, with an abundance of ghoulish good times on the horizon, I’ve chosen to compile a terrifying timeline of events—ensuring you’ll be…

more »
Events
Today
Peter and the Star Catcher

7:00pm|Squalicum High School

Fools

7:30pm|Mount Baker High School

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Meridian Street

Bellingham Repertory Dance's Emerge

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Rexville Grange Holiday Art Show

10:00am|Rexville Grange

Cheese Fest

10:00am|Everybody's Store

Holiday Farmers Market

10:00am|Port of Anacortes Transit Shed Event Center

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Rabbit Ride

8:30am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Getting in on the act

1:00pm

Sound of Music Singalong

1:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

A Musical Thanksgiving

2:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Harmony from Discord with Whatcom Symphony Orchestra

3:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

The 25th Hour

4:00pm|Village Books

Southside Community Meal

5:00pm|Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

Way North Comedy Showcase

7:00pm|Farmstrong Brewing Co.

Rutie Dornfeld, John Miller

7:00pm|YWCA Ballroom

Village Books
Tomorrow
Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Meridian Street

Wander + Camber Beer Dinner

6:30pm|Camber Cafe

Rocks & Gems

7:00pm|Bloedel Donovan Community Building

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

Bellingham Farmer’s Market Trove
Tuesday
Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Meridian Street

Bellingham at Home

1:00pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Pumpkin Pie Push

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Waxing Basics

6:00pm|REI

WAKE Meeting

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

MVHS Fall Gala Concert

7:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Comedy Open Mic

7:30pm|Shakedown

see our complete calendar »

Bellingham Farmer’s Market Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove