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May 06 2018
Guy Gadot: A Review Of Varla Jean Merman's WONDER MERMAN Comments (0)

IMG_5621*****_newEat your breasts out, Lynda Carter! (All images by Matthew Rettenmund)

Varla Jean Merman aka Jeffery Roberson, the star of 2003's Girls Will Be Girls, is one of my favorite drag artists of all time, up there with RuPaul and Divine.

I first came to know her when she appeared in some hysterical Tweed productions, including send-ups of The Bad Seed and Suddenly, Last Summer in the '90s, and 20 years later, she's still on top of her game ...


Performing in a show at The Green Room 42 at Yotel in NYC Friday, May 4, Varla displayed her trademark progressive, yet un-PC, humor, her vocal chops (the bitch has done Chicago on Broadway), and a lot of her sturdy frame. Forget Kameron Michaels — Varla was one of the first muscle queens

Check out 20 Varla Pics HERE!

Wonder Merman — a show she's touring with — finds Varla paying tribute to history's most incredible women in the shadow of Hillary Clinton's 2016 defeat. Sample line: “I hope to see my own crack on that glass ceiling one day.”


IMG_5596*****_newVarla ran through so many looks, never hesitating to do her quick-changes right onstage

Varla's not only funny, she's got a talent for tweaking sensitive topics like racism past and present and misogyny, always doing so with a perverse sense of humor and with an assist from the most expressive eyes in drag.

She also sings, offering a diverse selection of tunes as she educates the young'uns about great ladies real (like Josephine Baker, Eleanor Roosevelt) and imaginary (Scarlett O'Hara).

Probably the funniest moment came when she read from a Taylor Swift interview, in which the young singer talks about spending a year to learn how to do the splits, almost proving the idea that Varla could read from the phone book and make it funny.


If you get a chance to experience this lunatic, do it! And say hi afterward, because she couldn't have been nicer when I showed off my Mildred Fierce tee.