Lady With a Lasso

My trick for getting to rub elbows with great talents is to inject myself into their lives before they are whisked away to the loftier realms of celebrity that lie beyond my meager reach, after which I score points with my peers by nodding knowingly and bragging that I "knew them when."

I say this with Elizabeth Whitney in mind. Elizabeth is a performance artist who resided for a short while in North Adams. Eddie and I got to know her well enough while she was a neighbor to enjoy several evenings together and help celebrate her wedding at Mass MoCA when she married her longtime partner Lea Robinson, a writer and women’s basketball coach.

You couldn’t ask for a more congenial pair to swap stories, jokes, and ideas with than Elizabeth and Lea, and chats with Elizabeth led to strong suspicions that the various one-woman shows cited on her web site were probably gems. Such suspicions were bolstered by the raves that wafted back to the Massachusetts mountains after she performed last year at TOSOS II, the gay theatre in New York City for which I’ve done promotional designs from time to time.

The likelihood of Eddie and me actually seeing one of Elizabeth’s shows seemed remote for a while, though, North Adams being short on natural venues for quirky performance artists. They appeared still remoter once she got lured to Emerson College in Boston, where she is now a Scholar in Residence teaching courses in Performance Studies.

But fortune turned in our favor a couple of Sundays ago when the Queer Student Union at nearby Williams College chose to bring Wonder Woman: The Musical to town.

To put it simply: Elizabeth blew us away. What a knockout presentation. And I would say the same thing even if Eddie and I had never once scarfed down sushi with her and Lea at Jae’s on Route 8. I’m tellin’ ya: if she ever brings this or any of her other shows to your berg and you stay home, you’ll be the big loser.

Elizabeth is a charismatic charmer with a great voice and deft comedic chops. I am enjoying knowing-her-when currently and fully expect to bathe in her reflected glory by bragging about having known-her-when once the larger world fully discovers what she has to offer.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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