AT performing arts (matt) 2700 – no fotoOne of Stand Up New York Comedy Club’s funniest people from Manhattan is coming to southeast Queens. Tanya Be is returning to Black Spectrum Theatre for a tour de force performance in a one-woman musical-comedy
Likened to other hip, unique and versatile performers such as Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin and John Leguizamo, Be is a solo act who brings down the house with a multiplicity of virtuoso talents. She does dead-on characterizations of all kinds of people, including Miss Mama Jean, whom she calls the “sassy black church lady.” She impersonates foreign accents with stunning accuracy and sings original parody songs. But comedy is just one part of her talent.
Part of her performance includes her extraordinary gospel-trained singing voice and another spotlights her dazzling musicality on the electric violin.
Trained at the Westminster Choir College Music Conservatory in New Jersey, Be studied with the late, great jazz bassist Milt Hinton of St. Albans. But she has accomplishments in all areas of the arts.
In her early career, Be wrote songs, sang and performed with the Lenny White band, appeared on records and has written several songs for R&B idol Luther Vandross. She has sung on the David Letterman show and acted in musical theater. She appeared as singer Ronnie Spector of the famed Ronettes in the Bottom Line production of “Just Once,” which ran for two years and featured the classic pop songs of Mann and Weil. She has been an actress for 15 years, appearing on soap operas and in television commercials.
As a stand-up comic, Be prides herself on being one of a rare breed of comedians whose material is appropriate for a general audience.
“The biggest in the business performed clean,” she said. “It may seem harder being funny without resorting to profanity,” she said, “but it takes a lot more talent.”
Be has found a way to successfully incorporate all her artistic talents into her act. When one runs dry, another takes over. She can always pick up the electric violin for some soul-splitting jazz or take up residence on the ivories.
Also appearing at the Second Annual Comedy Night is the evening’s host, Adam Phillips of the New York Comedy Club; Rick Younger, who has appeared in “Rent”; Rupert Vanderpool, who has appeared on “Showtime at the Apollo”; and Jason Andohrs, who has performed on BET’s “Comic View.”
R&B singer Tony Riley, formerly of the Men of Soul duo, will return again this year to provide a musical interlude. Last year’s show sold out, so get your tickets fast. Food and drinks are included. The cocktail hour will start at 7 p.m. and show time is at 8 p.m.
This is also a Friends of Bill Scarborough fund-raiser. Call Timothy James at 917-930-6850 for information and tickets.