Varla Jean Merman is a character originated and portrayed by Jeffery Roberson, an American actor, singer and drag performer. With 25 years as a drag star, Varla Jean Merman is a legend in the biz. This is Varla’s 4th season as an entertainer at The Palm Cabaret. More than a drag show, seeing Varla Jean perform is an experience to remember! With only 4 more shows to go, don’t miss ‘A Star is Bored’ on Wed, Feb 12; Sat, Feb 15; Sun, Feb 16 and Wed, Feb 19 at 9:30 pm.
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Varla is what you might call, ‘old school’ drag in that she does all her own vocals, writes her own original material and knows how to engage the audience in the best possible way. Joining Varla is Gerald Goode on piano. Gerald has been accompanying Varla for over 7 years and is an extraordinary musician in his own right.
You’ll find that every performance of ‘A Star is Born’ is different because of Varla Jean’s fantastic improv with the audience. When you see her show, you’ll love the video, the fabulous costume changes and the unique storyline that threads through the performance. And there are always good-natured laughs that draw in the audience, rather than putting them on the spot! Audience involvement is always fun with Varla and nobody tries to hide in the shadows.
With over two decades of fame in the drag scene, Varla Jean Merman has an impressive resume. Having starred with legends like Leslie Jordan in NY, appearing in feature films like ‘Girls Will be Girls’ and ‘Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads,’ Varla Jean continues to appear on stage, in films and guest starring on television shows like, ‘Ugly Betty.’
Featured on Bravo’s Project Runway Season 5 as the winning model for the show’s drag challenge, Varla Jean also took on the role of Mary Sunshine in the revival of Chicago on Broadway and made television appearances on All My Children in the recurring role of lady of the evening Rosemary Chicken.
Jeffery Roberson (a.k.a. Varla Jean Merman) is also an award-winning theatre performer, appearing at the Long Wharf Theatre in Hartford Stage’s production of The Mystery of Irma Vep directed by Michael Wilson performing the roles originally made famous by Charles Ludlam. In 2010 Jeffery won an Elliot Norton Award for Best Musical Performance in The Phantom of the OPRAH. He returned to Boston in the fall of 2011 to star as Mother Superior in SpeakEasy Stage’s production of The Divine Sister by Charles Busch.
As Varla Jean, Jeffery has filled cabarets and concert halls across the world including the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, the New York Public Theater, London’s Soho Theatre and LA’s Renberg Theatre. Jeffery wrote and starred in the short Improve ‘Your History with Varla Jean: Stonewall,’ for the launch of the MTV’s television network Logo and was also seen in their One Night Standup: Dragtastic special.
So don’t miss Varla Jean Merman in her last 4 performances of ‘A Star is Bored,’ at The Palm Cabaret on Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and again next Wednesday at 9:30 pm. The Palm Cabaret and Bar is located at Olas Altas 508 in Romantic Zone. Tickets can be purchased at the venue’s box office or online at www.thepalmcabaret.com
You can also see Varla Jean’s new show this coming summer in Provincetown, MA and on tour in cities like Palm Springs, San Francisco, New Orleans, San Diego, Ft. Lauderdale, and NYC.
“…a deliciously loony sensibility…a voice that suggests a happy collision of Shirley Bassey and Barbara Cook…imagine it in a lounge act of a much younger Ann-Margret as conceived by John Waters and you’ll have an idea of the irresistible insanity in store for you.”
— BAY WINDOWS