In New York, there is a cabaret around every corner – with a wannabe Broadway starlet screaming her face off to anybody who will saunter in and agree to the drink minimum.
But there is something special about Tori Scott.
Her new show, Plan B!, is the latest testament to this. A shameless musical journey of slurred autobiographical stories and songs written by other people, Scott bounces between legends like Judy Garland and pop princesses like Miley Cyrus. Almost every diva in the gay lexicon is represented here, and represented very well.
Scott does scream her face off, but she does it with emotion and energy so often missing from the dozens of others. While they’re dead in the eyes, Scott’s intensity is palpable in the back row. What also sets her apart isn’t only her pipes and her delivery, but the witty banter she rattles off between the belted choruses and interludes of her well-arranged medleys.
“I love talking about how funny dating app handles are and then saying that I’m going to change my name on my apps to ‘Make My Hole Great Again.'”
Co-written by Scott and Adam Hetrick, Plan B! is directed by Seth Sklar-Heyn and features musical direction by Jesse Kissel. The show performs once more at Joe’s Pub on May 22. In June, Scott returns for a special-pride edition entitled “Make America Gay Again.”
I’m not sure how her show could get any gayer, but as the flyer featuring Scott vomiting out a rainbow suggests – I am sure she will find a way. Maybe her cute pianist will play shirtless. A gay boy can dream.
Hailed by Provincetown Magazine as “the Bette Midler of the new millennium,” I had an opportunity to chat with Scott about being called a “fag hag,” how she keeps her energy up and why she’s right at home at the leather party.
What term of endearment do you prefer when it comes to describing your relationship with gay men? Homo Honey? Fruit Fly? The other one?
Honestly, I loathe those terms. I mean, if I had a gun to my head and had to choose I would pick “Homo Honey” because that doesn’t sound nearly as haggish. But these kinds of terms don’t describe my relationship with gay men.
These terms refer to women and gay men as though it’s the women that are gravitating towards the gay men and not vice versa. As though the women are “hanging” on the men. It makes the relationship seem very one sided. But I am no one’s fly! We gravitate towards each other. The feeling is mutual.
Your show is so fast! How do you maintain the energy to barrel through so many upbeat songs and dialogue?
Cocaine. No, I’m kidding… I can’t afford cocaine! My energy comes from the adrenaline I get from performing and I feed off of the energy from the audience. I want people to have a great time! Never a dull moment.
What’s your favorite joke in the show?
I love talking about funny dating app handles are and then saying that I’m going to change my name on my dating apps to “Make My Hole Great Again.” The thought of that being my name on an app always makes me smile. I honestly just might do it to see what happens!
Why were you drawn to this specific material for this show?
All of my stories I tell in the show are true stories! So when I was putting this show together earlier this year, I sat down to really think about which of my ridiculous stories i was ready to tell. Comedy is tragedy plus time and, sometimes, not enough time has passed for me to be ready to tell an embarrassing moment in my life. Luckily, I have no shame so that rarely happens. Once I figure out the stories I want to tell, music pops into my head. Obviously, I sing a lot of pop songs because I adore pop music. I sing Judy Garland, because there truly is no one better, and I try to have as much variety as possible… like you’re listening to a mix tape.
What is it about you that gay men love and/or relate to?
I think (and hope I’m right) that gay men feel they can really be themselves around me. I have had moments where it’s like I forget that I am not a gay man myself. I performed on a gay cruise back in February and as I was walking around the Leather Party on the ship it took me a moment to say to myself “you know what, I should probably just let them enjoy this without a straight girl walking around saying hi. I’ll let them have their blow jobs in peace.” But, I never felt uncomfortable or out of place and humor plays a big role in that. I love a good sense of humor. I love it when someone gives me a hard time or reads me, because I love to give it right back.