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Nothing in My Closet But My Clothes.

Can you actually be a lesbian and not think Suzanne Westenhoefer is hilarious? I doubt it. In fact, she's funny no matter who you are, which may explain how the blond comic, who started with a three-minute routine in a New York piano bar, wound up as the first out lesbian to get her own HBO comedy special. Westenhoefer has been touring like mad for the past several years, building a devoted gay and lesbian following in the process. Now she's released her first comedy CD, Nothing in My Closet But My Clothes.

Recorded live last October, Nothing in My Closet covers the really meaningful lesbian issues--girlfriends, mothers, pets--and even delves into the uneasy bond between lesbians and purses. Westenhoefer's timing is fierce: She had me laughing out loud alone in my apartment.

I especially love Westenhoefer's tales of life with her very nonverbal girlfriend (although I don't know how she gets away with it and stays in the relationship). For instance: On that big trip home to meet Westenhoefer's family, the girlfriend clam up for the entire weekend--until she glances into a mirror and cries, "I look like a bucket of fuck!" just as Westenhoefer's mother waft by.

Then there's "The Martina Story," a blow-by-blow account of how a starstruck Westenhoefer interviewed her ideal love goddess, Martina Navratilova, for The Advocate. "Did I ever ten you about the time I sat in Martina's lap at an Elton John concert next to Billie Jean King?" Westenhoefer begins. It sounds like a joke, but you soon realize she did just that. And she's eager to share every detail, as if you'd been invited to her slumber party. Her unabashed every-dyke perspective is endearing. It's also a hoot.

Although she's out, loud, gay, and proud, Westenhoefer is just as entertaining on nonqueer subjects. She has an unnerving ability to make you think she's going to say something really tasteless, but she stops just before she gets there and surprises you with something else entirely. It's classy and, most important, funny. "I take you all the way to the edge," she correctly observes, "but I don't push you over."

To me, it's not important that Westenhoefer can get laughs without "sounding gay." But that ability could mean a lot, both to her and to us. Because it might just relax those Hollywood executives and help this funny lady land her own TV sitcom someday.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Liberation Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Turner, Guinevere
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Sound Recording Review
Date:Apr 1, 1997
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