WATCH: Martha Graham Cracker Does Patti LaBelle Doing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
The set, which took place in the space formerly known as Sisters, comprised a whole range of well-known pop tunes—from a couple Beatles numbers to Prince’s “Darling Nikki.” The real showstoppers, though, were ambitious renditions of Aretha Fraklin’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” She nailed ’em both. Her voice was in perfect form that night—soulful, strong and unwavering, even after two-and-a-half hours of hard singing. Her diva status continues to rise.
Of course it wasn’t all about the singing. As with every Martha show, you get a healthy dose of banter, hilarious crowd interaction (she molested my husband!) and a host of fun outfits and wigs, which, on this night, ran the gamut from a daringly short ’60s, off-the-shoulder ensemble to a more glam, sequined black gown.
She didn’t let the fact that she was in the former Sisters space escape her. Calling it “The Lesbian Capital of Philadelphia,” she noted that she was giving her gay blessing to the refurbished digs. That anointment came to a climax when she whipped out a version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” done in the over-the-top style of Philly’s own Patti LaBelle. Check out the video above, with Philly Mag’s own Victor Fiorillo on the keys.
From here, Martha will be away from Philly for a few a month, traveling to Louisville, Kentucky to perform with Pig Iron Theatre Company, which was founded by her alter ego Dito Van Reigersberg.
Want more Martha? Check out this great profile we ran in Philly Mag back in September. (He mentions the Whitney number!)