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Ira Lee Collings, The Gay Geezer, Reprises His “Tell-All” Show
June 27 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Ira Lee Collings, The Gay Geezer, Reprises His “Tell-All” Show to Benefit the New York LGBT Community, on Thursday, June 27, at Don’t Tell Mama.
Irrepressible singer-raconteur, Ira Lee Collings, has yielded to the will of the masses – and for a very good cause! His Naked – From The Neck Up is back by very popular demand during Gay Pride week as a fundraiser for SAGE, the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of elder lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adults. The show plays on Thursday, June 27th at 7pm, at Don’t Tell Mama in New York City.
Naked – From The Neck Up is a story that could no longer be contained. After eleven years in the cabaret world, Collings, the Gay Geezer, decided, “If not now, when?” He promises to bare all one more time, from the giddy heights of success to the darker moments of sorrow – all with wit, sly patter, infectious enthusiasm and a deep love of life that guarantee his audiences a truly feel-good experience. Naked – From the Neck Up is a very personal show, chock full of music and surprises.
Whereas his homosexuality was a problem in achieving success before, in changed times and with the wisdom of age, Collings decided to fully embrace his orientation and wear it proudly.
It’s no wonder, then, that as an LGBT elder, the octogenarian is a strong advocate for SAGE’s mission to lead in addressing issues related to LGBT aging. His desire is to firmly support this organization, which offers innovative services and programs in New York City from arts and culture to health and wellness and much more. (On a national level, SAGE also trains aging providers, develops consumer resources, and advocates for public policies to support LGBT older people.)
Collings knows all too well what difficulties can confront older LGBT people. It’s on reason he created Naked – From the Neck Up. “My art and passion come out of my gay experiences,” Collings says. Thus, he determined he’d at last share his experiences as a gay man in the days when it was dangerous to be “out.” He’s come a long way to resolve guilt and lack of self- esteem – coping with beliefs in a false reality that being gay was a “sickness.”
From his heartland career as a child performer on radio to Chicago to New York and a retirement from show business to enter the business world to finally deciding to revisit his former career, Collings pulls back the layers of intense personal experience to reveal a humanity that everyone can relate to. Collings’ gambits on stage include never-before-told secrets, revealed and unfolding through a curated set of songs such as “On the Other Side of the Tracks,” “An
Occasional Man,” “Mr. Wonderful,” Nothing Can Stop Me Now” and more. It’s a show the critics have loved as much as audiences have.
Naked – From the Neck Up is music directed by pianist, John M. Cook, and directed by Sally Darling.
“There really aren’t superlatives superlative enough to describe this wonderful show and the lovely, self-proclaimed Gay Geezer who graced us with his terrific performance!” Michael Barbieri, NiteLife Exchange
“Ira Lee Collings is an octogenarian who remembers what it was like to be young and who projects how great it is to feel alive with every word he utters and every note he sings.” Myra Chanin, Theater Pizzazz
“For the record, I am a fan…a BIG fan. Ira has a way with delivering a sincere interpretation of the lyric that is so pure and unaffected. It is just so refreshing these days to sit back and be able to listen and just take in the music.” Sue Matsuki, Cabaret Hotspot
Naked – From the Neck Up reprises at Don’t Tell Mama on Thursday, June 27th at 7pm. There is a $25 cover plus a 2-drink minimum, cash only. Tickets are available at 212-757-0788 (after 4 PM) and at www.donttellmamanyc.com/shows
Don’t Tell Mama is located at 343 West 46th St., New York City.