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Bea Arthur Impersonator Entertains

first_imgSchmidtis also a co-creator of The Golden Gays NYC, which debuted in 2017 at RuPaul’sDragCon and has since toured the country several times. Why does he think the1980s sitcom is appealing to a whole new generation of fans? “Jason B. Schmidt is Bea Arthur: A Nightclub Act” will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park. Tickets are $18-$30 and are available at timmcloonessupperclub.com. “I wipeaway Jason and draw in Bea Arthur’s features,” he said. “As soon as the hairgoes on, she shows up.” “ ‘TheGolden Girls’ is a wonderful gem frozen in time,” he said. “We’re having aGolden revolution.” Artsand entertainment reporter Mary Ann Bourbeau can be reached [email protected] ASBURYPARK – In 2010, Jason B. Schmidt was living in New York City when he saw anaudition post for a stage show called “Thank You for Being a Friend.” Theproducers of “The Golden Girls” drag parody were looking for a Bea Arthur-type –someone tall with a deep voice. Before he knew it, Schmidt was cast in the EastVillage show. “It waswild and crazy and a little raunchy,” he said. “I wantto do a whole Petula Clark medley,” said Schmidt. “I want to sing songs, tellstories and brighten a world that’s a little odd at the moment.” Schmidt,who also works as a paralegal, will perform the nightclub act Arthur alwaysdreamed of and frequently spoke about. It will include standards from Broadway,television and “bea-yond.” As Arthur, he will sing, tell stories and cavort,backed by his band, the Jerry Hermanettes. The new show is less scripted and“Arthur” will spend more time chatting with the audience. Actor and impersonator Jason B. Schmidt, as Bea Arthur, will entertain at McLoone’s Supper Club Jan. 16. Photo by Kevin Hinkle Schmidtmay even perform a snippet of the song Arthur sang in the critically panned1978 “Star Wars Holiday Special,” as well as a disco version of the theme from“Maude,” as it was once performed by Sammy Davis Jr. (Yes, really). In 2014,he created his first show, “Bea Arthur: Astral Dame,” in which he imagined theactress coming down from the heavens for one last musical hurrah. The Neptuneresident will present his latest show, “Jason B. Schmidt is Bea Arthur – ANightclub Act” at McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park Thursday, Jan. 16. It takesSchmidt about two hours to transform himself into Arthur. He glues down hiseyebrows and turns his face into a blank canvas. The show, with music direction by Mason Griffin, will include songs that Schmidt enjoys singing and others that Arthur sang in her Tony Award-nominated show, which ran on Broadway for two months in 2002. Some of those songs include “Just One of Those Things,” “Just in Time,” “The Man in the Moon” from “Mame” and “I Know a Place,” a 1965 song recorded by Petula Clark. Schmidt,who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting from Adelphi University, was wellacquainted with the work of Beatrice Arthur. While on tour with “Singing in theRain,” he had listened on the bus to her recording, “Bea Arthur on Broadway,Just Between Friends,” on which she sang songs and told stories about her longand eventful career. The actress is best known for her role in the 1974 movie,“Mame,” as well as her two television shows, “Maude” and “The Golden Girls,”the latter of which seems to be as popular now as it was when it aired in the1980s. “Ininterviews, Bea said she always wanted to be a nightclub singer but didn’t havethe looks or the voice to be offered one,” he said. “I wanted to do hernightclub act, dressed in a swanky gown with background musicians. I love herability to tell a story and interweave a song with it. I love the audacious,loud character she played when I know she was an introspective and quiet person.And I love her comic timing.” “Irealized I didn’t need the show,” he said. “I could do my own Bea Arthurthing.” last_img

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