by Sarah Toce
What do you do when you marry your performance partner? Why, you simply love every moment of it! Kitten N’ Lou are a dynamic force on and off the stage for just this reason and many others.
Kitten (she/Her) and Lou (he onstage, she/he/they offstage) have performed alongside Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, have created their own comedy shows like the recent summer hit CAMPTACULAR, and will soon be starring alongside their colleagues in Seattle’s holiday revue Homo for the Holidays: Jingle All the Gay!
In addition to Kitten N’ Lou, the show stars Cherdonna Shinatra, Joe Black, ilvs strauss, Mr. Gorgeous, RedBone, The Luminous Pariah, Markeith Wiley, Randy Ford, Rebecca M. Davis, Danny Kam, and Abbey Roads.
The project is supported, in part, by an award from nonprofit 4Culture.
According to the show’s website, audiences are invited to join “our chosen family of fabulous fruitcakes in a joyful and triumphant celebration of song, dance, striptease, and ‘brilliantly deranged’ (TimeOut NY) holiday hilarity. Light your menorah, stuff your stockings, and join us in continuing Seattle’s favorite winter tradition…It’s not Christmas in July, it’s Pride in December!”
Kitten’s stage name was given to her by “an amazing director in New Orleans many years ago, whose mother was a burlesque dancer on Bourbon Street in the ’50s.”
Lou said he “wanted something that felt funnily historic, and liked that this first lady had a boy’s name.”
Seattle has an impressive arts scene, a fact that isn’t lost on either Kitten or Lou.
“Seattle has such an amazing variety of styles, and there tends to be more crossover between the drag, burlesque, theater, and contemporary dance worlds than in most places,” Kitten said.
Lou seconded that: “The support that Seattle audiences give to less traditional art forms is really fantastic.”
They currently live in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, and both say a typical day includes “coffee, Chihuahuas, laptops, rehearsal, dinner, wine, and sleep. Rinse and repeat.”
Even with amazing coffee from local haunts like Espresso Vivace or Café Ladro, Seattle does leave a little to be desired in the gray months.
“I know it’s a cliché, but the damn weather is tough at times,” Lou said, to which Kitten offered a potential an addendum: “Also, maybe less polar fleece as fashion statement.”
These two make their own statement wherever they go—and they are changing lives along the way.
“A fan once got a pinup of me tattooed on their body,” Kitten said. “That was pretty impressive.”
As for Lou, he said he feels the most moved “when I get to meet younger queer kids at the shows who are gender-nonconforming, saying they feel inspired and seen.”
As for who inspires them, both onstage and offstage, it’s a mixture of old-fashioned and beloved characters, like (for Kitten) Lucille Ball, Pee-wee Herman, and Cardi B, plus her nana and father; and (for Lou) Barack and Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Maxine Waters, and Hannah Gadsby.
The real-life lovebirds have been performing in Homo for the Holidays for over a decade. What do they most look forward to in 2018’s incarnation?
“We are thrilled to be ushering our beloved holiday show Homo for the Holidays into a new chapter of its life after a decade,” Lou said. “It will run December 7 through 30 at West Hall (in the OddFellows Building). It’s jam-packed with new characters, surprises, and ways of celebrating chosen family!”
Kitten added, “We are packing so much love and magic into this show; it’s not to be missed!”
The two shared one final thought for those coming up behind them: “Make the kind of art you love and your audience will find you.”
Learn more about Kitten N’ Lou and their upcoming show Homo for the Holidays: Jingle All the Gay! by visiting www.kittenandlou.com and homofortheholidays-jingleallthegay.strangertickets.com.