"Call Me Adam" catches up with The Vaudevillians, Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales to talk about their brand-new show Bringing Up Baby, which will be premiering at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue, inside West Bank Cafe) from May 21-31! Click here for tickets!
"Dr. Dan" and "Kitty Witless" were put on ice in the Twenties, and had their entire music catalogue purloined by today's pop artists. Now the hottest act ever frozen alive is back again, with more swinging hits from their stolen songbook! There's only one problem: "Kitty's" "in a family way" and no one's quite sure where the kid came from. Can The Vaudevillians still put on a show while bringing up baby?
Jinkx Monsoon: What excites me is the fact that it's brand new. The original Vaudevillians show developed out of many years of improvisation with those characters. The fact that this show isn't as polished and rehearsed, means there's a lot more room for improv and moments of reality on stage. Which is also terrifying. But it's that terror that excites me too.
Major Scales: The most exciting part is that They’re letting us back after the mess we made of their stage last time! Seriously, I think we still have some pantyhose and suspenders in the wings...
2. What made now the right time to debut Bringing Up Baby?
Jinkx Monsoon: I want to say something inspirational like, we've taken The Vaudevillians so far, and there's still so far to take it, but lets explore other avenues! (which is true.) But moreover, it was just damn time to do something new. It's unnatural to do a show as many times as we did The Vaudevillians, but we loved every minute of it. But there's nothing wrong with putting something to rest for a while and flexing some muscles you haven't flexed in a while.
Major Scales: It’s amazing to think that it’s been over a year since we did our first version in New York. I think it’s time to show people what all "Dr. Dan" and "Kitty" have been messing up around the world since then.
Jinkx Monsoon: The best thing about the Beechman is the staff and support crew. There are so many passionate individuals who make that place what it is; a very warm, receptive, supportive space to present work. Everyone there is committed to making the show a spectacular experience for the audience.
Major Scales: And don’t get me started on their fried calamari!
4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Bringing Up Baby?
Jinkx Monsoon: I hope they go away smiling, and have things to laugh and joke about all night. I hope they see how much of ourselves we are putting into these characters with this show. Hopefully they'll enjoy this utterly ridiculous conceit and see the beauty in stupidity.
Major Scales: I hope they come away with the same deeply resonant message we left them with last time: that we slipped past the Beechman’s security and should be citizen-arrested off the stage.
Jinkx Monsoon: Pregnancy is one of those things you can't understand until you've done it. It has connected me with myself in a way I never dreamed of, and certainly never asked for.
Major Scales: I mean, if you thought "Kitty" had mood swings before...
6. You are going to be singing some new songs with Bringing Up Baby. How did you decide which hits you wanted to turn out for this show? Did pregnancy play a factor in this decision?
Jinkx Monsoon: Yes and No. First and foremost we choose songs that are important to us, because they're important to you (for whatever reason, we can't tell). Pregnancy only played a factor in the fact that I will be wildly pregnant...how can we use this?
Major Scales: Do we like an easy "baby" pun in our songs? Yes. Does that mean we didn’t leave room for some Taylor Swift and a rap song? Of COURSE not!
Jinkx Monsoon: Don't be afraid to entirely forget you have a kid while planning out your business ventures.
Major Scales: It’s never too early to get a cane in their hand and have them hoofing on the stage, child labor laws be damned!
8. Since it's not known where the baby came from, has this mystery put any tension on your relationship? If so, how have you worked through this tension?
Jinkx Monsoon: Therapy. Shock Therapy.
Major Scales: "Dr. Dan" thrives on tension. It’s probably why he sticks around with "Kitty" in the first place.
Jinkx Monsoon: What excites me the most is the idea of having something small around that needs me. I had a puppy once, and it was the same maternal instincts I had back then. I loved that thing...I just can't remember where I left him…
Major Scales: I know I, personally, am not ready for kids because I’d just want to raise a small version of myself. Better to get a Shiba Inu; at least they’re quiet.
10. How have fans reacted to the fact you are pregnant?
Jinkx Monsoon: Most are jealous that they're not the father.
Major Scales: Most are nervous that they ARE the father.
Jinkx Monsoon is the alter ego of Jerick Hoffer, who graduated with a degree in theatrical performance from Cornish College in Seattle. With ten years experience on stage, Jerick is a seasoned Portland-born entertainer who has captured the attention of his native northwest region. As early as 2006, Jerick appeared as the lead dancer in the world's largest drag queen chorus line, which made the Guinness Book of World Records. By 2012, he had advanced to roles in Seattle theaters, playing "Moritz" in Spring Awakening (produced by Balagan Theatre), "Angel" in Rent (produced by The 5th Avenue Theatre), and "Hedwig" in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (produced by Balagan Theatre and Seattle Theatre Group). In 2014 he was nominated for the Helpmann Award (alongside the likes of Cate Blanchett, Ivo Van Hove, Denis O'Hare and Baz Luhrmann), the Australian equivalent of a Tony, for his performance in The Vaudevillians.
Major Scales is the evil twin of Richard Andriessen, a musician, writer and performer based in Seattle. He has written everything from award-winning New York shows on the east coast to music for amateur adult films on the west.