Read my exclusive interviews with these two bright young seriously divas striving to make this crazy, scary world a better place
McKay’s show at Feinstein’s at Loew’s Regency, I WANT TO LIVE, in which she impersonates ultimate B-girl Barbara Graham who ended up in the gas chamber and was earlier immortalized by Susan Hayward in a memorably trashy Oscar winning performance, is one wild, quirky ride. McKay is both fearless and joyously off-the-wall, prowling through the audience, strumming a ukelele, pounding the piano and simulating Graham’s final, odiferous earthly moments in which she truly discovers the sweet mystery of life. For pure genius gone totally wrong (in the right way), I doubt that any onstage moment will match her sweetly warbling Irving Berlin’s ISN’T THIS A LOVELY DAY, while remaining blithely oblivious to her drummer shooting up on the stage (surely the first time THAT’S been done in this particular, posh venue!).
I can think of no better way to pay tribute to the brainy, committed and utterly winning Kebede than lettiing you feast your eyes on her. With her exquisitely perfect features and seemingly endless, elegant lank of a body you could throw any bolt of cloth at and come up sartorially triumphant, she is gloriously in the great tradition of stunning black models which have beneficently blessed runways and editorial pages for decades: Naomi Sims, Pat Cleveland, Bethann Hardison, Grace Jones, Alva Chin, Iman, Gloria Burgess, Peggy Dillard, Mounia, Ramona Saunders, Billie Blair, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Chanel Iman, and those two sadly tragic muses, the sculptural Donyale Luna
and the blindingly exotic Katoucha.
But here’s Liya!