47th Street bustles as theatergoers join the “will call” line and scramble for tickets to foundering Broadway shows. Twenty feet away from this maddening crush, nestled deep in the plush red banquettes of The Supper Club, lesbians, gay men, and a group of 30 Spanish businessmen and their wives sip martinis as the plus-sized cabaret act The Glamazons takes the stage for their new show, “We Sing for Our Supper.”
The four beautiful ladies— Meryl “Lady” Finger, Sandy “Candy Apple” May, Jackie “Crème Fraîche” Kristel, and Laura “Caramela” Johnson—launch into their first song, a jazzed-up rendition of the “Sweet Charity” number “Big Spender,” and the crowd roars.
The Glamazons formed in 2002, when Finger gathered a group of five “big boned-ed” beauties to play at various Lower East Side locales, including the now-closed hotspot Fez. Finger helped lead her troupe to downtown celebrity status with their bawdy, funny songs and parodies. Since then, the group’s lineup has changed, with members including The World Famous *BOB* leaving to pursue solo careers. Undeterred, Finger put together a new crew of four, revamped their act, and began hitting uptown stages, including The Rainbow Room and now, the upstairs lounge of the opulent Broadway venue, The Supper Club.
The strength of The Glamazon’s act is that it courses with an undercurrent of sexuality and self-awareness in the face of a society that says fat is something to be hidden away and ashamed of. The Glamazons poke fun at themselves, like when they rap, “Let me see you shake it, big girl/Stand up and be proud/Don’t let nobody tell you, you can’t rule this world.” Their defiance and self-worth makes them sexier than a catwalk full of bony fashion models.
“We Sing for Our Supper” is broken down into three shorts sets of five or six songs each, punctured with some light choreography and lively banter with the crowd. Like the women in the old burlesque films projected on three wall-sized screens, The Glamazons rarely bare all, relying instead on titillating the audience with suggestive, wink-and-nod fanny wiggles and girlish giggles.
Their routine moves between faithful renditions of cabaret classics, and song parodies of such fare as “Diamonds Are a Girls’ Best Friend,” Rosemary Clooney’s “Come On To My House,” and The Andrews Sisters’ “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”—in perfect harmony, with a smile and a soft-shoe.
The girls solo with more contemporary numbers, like Candy Apple singing Melanie Safka’s “I’ve Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates” while flipping her blond pigtails, and Crème Fraîche, the so-called “anorexic Glamazon” belting “Out Tonite” from “Rent.”
Finger gives roasting tribute to Liza Minnelli with “Maybe This Time,” singing, “Maybe this time he’s not gay/maybe this time, he’s not into ass play/ no more buttplugs, like the last man/ or the man before.”
To a fan, Candy Apple quips, “This one’s for you, Stewie!” and launches into, “I Want to Be Loved by Jews,” spoofing the lyrics, “I was born a shiksa, it’s how I was raised/ But I went to Zabar’s, and now I challah all day!”
The show will go on as long as The Glamazons fill the seats with their bodacious routines and finely tuned voices. Admission is free, the seats are plush, and the cocktails are strong. Finally, a reason to hang out in Times Square.