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.”

Silver Reef House
More On Stage...
Dance-Off
Of rabbit holes, swans and rubies

Every year, renowned actors, dancers, musicians, acrobats and other performers from around the globe make tour stops at the Mount Baker Theatre to share their talents as visiting artists, or as part of the space’s seasonal lineup. But a glance at MBT’s June’s roster—which features a…

more »
Matilda
Thirty years and counting

The logistics involved in bringing to life all of the 16 performances of Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth’s renditions of Matilda the Musical are mind-boggling.

To start with, the play boasts four casts and runs for as many weekends, meaning theatergoers who attended opening night on…

more »
High Times
Up in the air

In March, when aerialist PJ Perry saw Teatro Zinzanni cast member Rachel Nehmer’s solo piece relating to the difficult birth of her second child, it moved her to tears.

Other than on opening night, those in attendance at the seventh annual Aerial Showcase performances taking place May…

more »
Events
Today
Upper Skagit Library Photo Contest

12:00pm

Ski to Sea Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

Parkinson's Dance Class

11:00am|Ballet Bellingham

Meet a Truck

1:00pm|Bellingham City Hall

English Country Dancing

1:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

SeaFeast Kickoff

5:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Spring Fling with Skagit Women in Business

5:30pm|Grand Willow Inn

Hidden Forest Foray

6:00pm|Sehome Arboretum

Off-Leash Books

6:00pm|Mount Vernon City Library

Spring Soups for the Body and Soul

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Life Between the Pages Dinner Book Club

6:30pm|Evolve Chocolate + Cafe

Birds of the West

7:00pm

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Birds of the West

7:00pm|Village Books

Play Readings with Dragon Tales Productions

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

House Concert with Wandering Seas

7:30pm

Good, Bad, Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Tomorrow
Upper Skagit Library Photo Contest

12:00pm

Ski to Sea Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

Play Readings with Dragon Tales Productions

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Wild Things

9:30am|Cornwall Park

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Peace Vigil

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Fourth Friday Art Walk

5:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

Seaside BBQ

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Salmon Dinner Sail

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Matilda the Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

The Hobbit

7:00pm|Judson Auditorium

Bellingham Community Chamber Orchestra

7:00pm| Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Improvised Musicals, LOL

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Web
Saturday
Upper Skagit Library Photo Contest

12:00pm

Ski to Sea Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

Play Readings with Dragon Tales Productions

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Matilda the Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

The Hobbit

7:00pm|Judson Auditorium

Improvised Musicals, LOL

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #154

Mount Vernon Farmers Market2333

9:00am|Riverwalk Park

Concrete Saturday Market

9:00am|Concrete Community Center

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Lummi Island Artists' Studio Tour

10:00am|Lummi Island

Birch Bay Book Sale

10:00am|Birch Bay Beach Park

Birch Bay Kite Festival

10:00am|Birch Bay Beach Park

Designing a Four-Season Hummingbird Garden

11:00am|Christianson's Nursery

Whatcom Memorial Day Parade

12:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Poetry Night with Sara Sutton

7:00pm|Walton Theatre

see our complete calendar »

Kids Guide 2019 Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Web