Like many great collaborations, Dudettes started in the sack. Ryan Kelly and Dale Miller were in NYC with the smash-hit AIDS drama Living With Henry. One post-show evening they were gabbing in bed and proposed a night where they would lend their pipes to well-known songs by the stage’s greatest divas.
Two years in, the semi-regular event has put new twists on Streisand, Garland, Burnett and Lansbury. Daily Xtra caught up with the boys to dish on how they started, getting one’s gay card revoked and how far two bucks will take you.
Daily Xtra: Tell me about the project’s conception. Was there semen involved?
Dale: We were in bed — two separate beds, thank you — chatting about how inspiring New York was. One thing led to another and this concept of singing songs we’d never have the opportunity to perform on stage came to life. I’m pretty sure we were either drunk or high. We’d tried to hit all the bars in Chelsea that night.
Ryan: The name of the show was my idea, by the way.
Dale: If it were up to you, we would have called it Manhole: The Musical.
Ryan: I can’t remember how many bars we hit that night but Dale is right about the Manhole. And I lost my watch.
Dale: But if memory serves, you went back for seconds and came out with a Rolex.
I’m not a big fan of show tunes. Should I still come out? Will you convert me?
Dale: You can have your gay card revoked for blasphemy like that! But of course you should come! It’s campy musical fun. We’re not trying to recreate the moment from the show so if you hate musicals, you’re safe there. It’s an evening of shade and fun and bitchiness and fabulosity. It’s RuPaul’s Drag Race without the tucking.
Ryan: We’re not trying to convert the wicked. However, hearing songs from Broadway out of context makes it less razzle-dazzle and more about the lyrics and the relationships they describe. Dale sings pretty good and I’m really funny. I can’t predict your conversion, but I can predict you’ll enjoy yourself.
Do you take requests, musical, sexual or otherwise?
Dale: We don’t because we have it all worked out in advance and also because Ryan might have a stroke. But we take suggestions as to what we should do for the next show. But if people want something special, Ryan will do almost anything for a toonie.
Ryan: We also often have audience participation and the prize is generally a kiss from me. That’s usually because Dale has a boyfriend in the audience, and I’m busy looking for one. And Dale’s right about the toonie. He has no couth and I have no shame.