Patti Cakes

Recorded on May 11, 2022:

This dressing-down immediately went viral, sparking mucho online fanfare far and wide.

And now, A MERE TWO MONTHS LATER, not one but TWO different, FULLY-STAGED productions — Titanique at Asylum (the rebranded digs of Upright Citizen Brigade’s former Chelsea home, and Roundabout’s old stomping grounds) and All For One Theater’s Mister Miss America — heavily feature SCRIPTED uses of Patti‘s rant.

The emphasized words above speak to the rarity of this occurrence. Yes, some shows bake-in slots for #relevant pop-culture references…but two SCRIPTED mentions in two FULLY-STAGED productions so soon after a trendy happening feels rather novel, if not downright unprecedented. The audio is played repeatedly throughout BOTH Mister Miss America AND Titanique, AND the latter even includes a freaking cardboard cutout of Patti.

Is this noteworthy? You decide! The turnaround time kind of boggles my mind. Maybe it’s a reflection of theatermakers’ undying worship of all things Patti (and the ever-raging mask debate)?

Speaking of which: the stories of both Mister Miss America and Which Way to the Stage (Adele Dazeem) fundamentally revolve around a character’s seemingly-personal relationship to a Broadway belter broad, with whom they’ve had scant personal interactions (Babs in Buyer & Cellar also springs to mind).

All of these depictions skew towards the conventional side of 21st-century celebrity worship; as per, A Strange Loop takes this set-up steps further: Usher’s “Inner White Girl” devotion to the likes of Liz Phair (one of her songs is titled “Strange Loop”) is juxtaposed against how he holds up Tyler Perry as his arch-nemesis.

Celebrity fidelity can be as much of a push as a pull on us.

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