Tammy Faye Starlite to offer new take on Rolling Stones songs at Pangea

tammy faye starlite rolling stones

BOB GRUEN

TAMMY FAYE STARLITE

Hoboken-based Tammy Lang — better known as Tammy Faye Starlite, the bold alt-cabaret singer, satirist and impersonator — has earned critical acclaim for mesmerizing shows in which she portrays singers, including Nico and Marianne Faithfull (“blondes with low voices and defiant lives,” as she said in a prior interview). Filled with social commentary and humor, her performances reveal her own voice — poetic, shocking and always relevant.

This cherry-lipped, high-energy woman — who has just returned from a West Coast tour of “Yesterday, Today and Tamar,” in which she plays a fictional Israeli disco chanteuse — is returning to the stage with “C.S. Blues: Tammy Faye Starlite Sings the Jagger/Richards Songbook.” The show explores “Rolling Stones songs from the perspective of Mick Jagger,” Starlite said, adding “to quote ‘Sister Morphine,’ ‘things are not what they seem.’ ”

“C.S. Blues” will be performed at the downtown New York club, Pangea, on Nov. 3 and 10. Visit PangeaNYC.com/music.

Starlite, who has performed Rolling Stones songs before in a cabaret context, said the upcoming shows will uncover the group’s “cabaret origins.”

“Everything about the Stones compels me,” she said, noting that Mick Jagger is her favorite. “You have to stick with July Leos.” She hopes to reveal their “shared solipsism.”

The show will “uncover the music’s inner relationship with its creators, shedding new light on the psychology behind the songs as manifestation of the on-going Kulturkampf that Jagger and Richards have unrelentingly embodied for so long,” according to a press release.

Starlite will be backed by her very talented band members Eszter Balint (violin), Richard Feridun (electric guitar), David Nagler (keyboards) and Barry Reynolds (acoustic guitar). Reynolds previously performed and co-wrote songs with Faithfull.

The show is directed by Michael Schiralli, who also directed Starlite’s Faithfull and Nico shows. Its title references Robert Frank’s documentary “Cocksucker Blues,” chronicling The Stones’ 1972 United States tour.

The fictional character Tammy Faye Starlite started out as an outrageous country/Christian singer with songs such as “If You’re Coming Down Sweet Jesus, Won’t You Come All Over Me,” “Did I Shave My Vagina for This?” (inspired by the Deana Carter hit “Did I Shave My Legs for This?”) and “God Has Lodged a Tenant in My Uterus.” A knowledgeable country music fan, Starlite turns the stereotypical version of a wholesome country star inside out.

In 2019, I attended Starlite’s engaging performance of her show “Why’d Ya Do It,” in which she channeled pop icon Faithfull, performing songs from Faithfull’s 1979 comeback album Broken English. Her provocative monologues mentioned — dismissively and humorously — Jagger, whom Faithfull dated in the ‘60s.

Starlite always creates a revelatory night of theater with political and literary references, showing us sides of her irreverent self and her characters’ complexities. I look forward to seeing what she has in store for Jagger and the Stones’ legacy.

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