Gilda Sue, Shut Up!
Oy, vey! Last night I saw “Gilda Sue Rosenstern” host a cabaret act at The Red Light Café.
The Southern hostess and character actress “Gilda Sue,” as she likes to be known on and off stage, trills words and sounds a lot like the waitress “Flo” from the ‘70s TV show “Alice.” She bills herself as “the gabbiest half-Jewish talk-show hostess on her never-ending quest for fame, cosmic truth, a handsome half-Jewish boyfriend, and a real, real rockin’ cocktail.”
After quite a bit of talking about her life as a half-Jew growing up in the South, she introduced her first guest of the evening, “Enzo,” (Vincent Tortorici) a Vaudevillian comic and trickster, who juggled cardboard bricks, tin plates, sticks, and his hat. (See my earlier post on him, June 11, 2009.) Even in the midst of his juggling act, Enzo kept one eye on the audience, and jibed the way of the wind. When attendees entered the club late in the midst of his act, to get them up to speed, he performed all his previous tricks again, in super fast motion.
Gilda Sue next presented folk-pop singer Nathan Beaver, a local singer-songwriter-guitarist, who performed about eight tunes, many from his upcoming CD. He also sang a duet with his father and one with Gilda Sue, who, thankfully, really can sing in a normal voice. However, at other points in the show she sang in her “Gilda Sue” voice, which grates on the ears.
Gilda Sue drinks almost as much as she talks, and continually refills her cocktail glass from the silver flask she keeps by her side as she recants tales about her life. She talks about growing up with a Baptist mother and a Jewish father, and going to church for confession and meeting with Rabbi Spiderman. She spouts aphorisms stolen from celebrities. She tells preposterous stories about finding CNN’s Nancy Grace drunk in a bar, and their close encounter with Wolf Blitzer. She offers help to people who have written to her for advice, discusses her used-book club and the book of the month (this month’s pick: “Dracula”), and she opines on marriage. Servers in restaurants, she says, should not be allowed to “marry the ketchups” when the bottles are half full, because marriage really should only be between one man and one woman. And she babbles about getting herself into a pickle, but, she clarifies, it was a kosher pickle. Oy!
There was some reprieve to Gilda Sue’s incessant chatter. She invited her friend in the front row to come up and tell everyone about her salon, Nunzia’s Nail Nest. “Nunzia” sounded like she hailed from Queens or Brooklyn, and dressed as if she were a character right out of “Married to the Mob,” with big hair, blue jeans, a pullover top, and a jacket, all super tight fitting. She talked about the salon she owns, where she offers a wide range of manicures and pedicures, like “the deluxe,” “the deluxe, deluxe,” and “the super deluxe.”
Gilda Sue’s shows on the Internet are similar to the type of shtick you’ll see at her live shows. See the Gilda Sue Rosenstern Computer Internet Show here: Gilda Sue Rosenstern.