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.”

Element Music Festival
More On Stage...
Bellingham Pride
A date with diversity

Tree Sequoia was at New York City’s Stonewall Inn in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969.

He didn’t know it, but many of the gay men, lesbians dressed in men’s clothes and drag queens in attendance at the dingy West Village bar that night would be part of history by evening’s end,…

more »
Frisky Fandoms
When nerds are naughty

In the past couple of months, Frisky Fandoms has given Star Wars and Game of Thrones the burlesque treatment. On Thurs., July 5, they’ll do it again with Harry Potter. We caught up with founder Charlie Fun-Facts to find out more about how she’s planning on putting the audience under her…

more »
Rep Reset
A stage under the stars

Car alarms, rabbits, strong winds and train whistles all made appearances during iDiOM Theater’s first performance of Anton Chekov’s The Seagull at Bellingham’s Maritime Heritage Park last Thursday.

But despite those distractions, director Glenn Hergenhahn-Zhao says the cast and crew held…

more »
Events
Today
Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:30pm|Vanier Park

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Missoula Children's Theatre

10:00am|Mount Baker Theatre

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Kids Can Cook

11:00am|Community Food Co-op

Lit Camp

1:00pm|Village Books

Lit Camp

1:00pm|Village Books

Plant Diagnostic Clinics

5:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Cuban Salsa

6:00pm|Bell Tower Studios

Ferndale Cookbook Club

6:30pm|Ferndale Library

Guffawingham

9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

Village Books
Tomorrow
Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:30pm|Vanier Park

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Tuesday Evening Free Paddles

4:30pm|Community Boating Center

Free Paddles

4:30pm|Community Boating Center

Trove Bingo

5:00pm|Trove Coffee

Artist Demo

6:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Kayak Camping Basics

6:00pm|REI

BIFT

6:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Luscious Lemons

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Sunset History Cruise

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Books on Tap

7:00pm|Josh VanderYacht Memorial Park

Comedy Open Mic

7:30pm|Shakedown

Trove Web Village Books
Wednesday
Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:30pm|Vanier Park

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Festival of Music Community Concert

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Wednesday Farmers Market

3:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Downtown Sounds

5:30pm|Downtown Bellingham

Backpacking Basics

6:00pm|REI

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Swing Connection

6:00pm|Seafarers' Memorial Park

Brewers Cruise

6:30pm|www.whales.com

Vegetarian Pakistani

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Intro to Improv

7:00pm|Improv Playworks

see our complete calendar »

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Web 2018 Cascadia Kids Village Books