by MK Scott
I was first seduced by Randy Rainbow’s humor about seven years ago when Rainbow was shooting and posting his short videos on YouTube. These videos featured outrageous edited phone conversations with such notables like Mel Gibson, Lindsey Lohan, Diane Sawyer and more. Lately, Rainbow has been making a splash with his political parodies of Trump and Kim Davis. His musical tribute to the first presidential debate of 2016 received 28 million views in its first two days. He was subsequently asked by the cast of TV’s ‘Will & Grace’ to parody a song which they performed during a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton.
Now, Rainbow will be visiting Seattle for the first time to join the Seattle Men’s Chorus (SMC) and the Seattle Women’s Chorus (SWC) for ‘Not In Our Town,’ their joint concert in song, at McCaw Hall on April 7 and 8. In addition to live performances of his wildly popular parody videos, Rainbow will sing hit songs with the Choruses, including the Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning song ‘This is Me’ from The Greatest Showman.
I had a chance to chat with Rainbow by email this past week.
MK Scott: Welcome to Seattle! You are performing with the Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus. What can we expect?
Randy Rainbow: I’m so excited about it, and it’ll be my first time in Seattle! I’ll be doing some of my original song parodies and then joining the chorus to solo on a couple of special numbers. Don’t wanna give too much away.
MK: Since the idiot has been in office, your videos have been even more popular. What have been the pros and cons of this instant fame?
Randy: Not so instant. I’m one of those 8-year ‘overnight sensations.’ It’s a fun ride. I’m on tour now so getting to meet fans all over the country has been a trip.
MK: Some of the responses have been big celebrities. Who surprised you the most?
Randy: The response from celebrities has been one of the most exciting parts for me. Some of them like Sondheim and Dick Van Dyke have been huge idols of mine since childhood so it’s quite thrilling. I guess the most surprising have been the news anchors and reporters who’ve reached out. The CNN people love me, and it’s mutual.
MK: I saw you in the new gay Orbitz ad with Bianca Del Rio. What was it like on that set?
Randy: So much fun. I’ve been a massive fan of Margaret Cho’s for years, so to work with her on my very first commercial was really special. Bianca and I go back a long time to when we both had weekly shows at the same gay bar in NYC. It was a fun reunion and needless to say we had a blast.
MK: How long does it take you from conception to posting a song or video? Do you shoot or edit your own videos or do you have some help?
Randy: I’m still doing it all myself from my apartment. You have to work fast in the age of social media, and especially with the never-ending circus going on every day in the news. I usually turn my videos around in a day.
MK: I read that your Grandmother was very talented and an inspiration. What was your favorite memory of her?
Randy: I used to sleep over at her house on Friday nights when I was a kid and she’d help me run lines for whatever community theater or camp show I was in at the time. She was the funniest. Joan Rivers, Lucille Ball, Bea Arthur and Betty White rolled into one Jewish Grandmother.
MK: What is next?
Randy: Working on lots of projects so stay tuned. Would love to bring what I’m doing with the videos to the next level. Maybe even leave my apartment.
MK: Burning Question: Have you, or would you ever join a Gay Chorus?
Randy: How presumptuous of you. I haven’t even officially come out yet.
Tickets to the SMC and SWC ‘Not In Our Town’ concert at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall Seattle performances are $25-$78 and available at www.seattlechoruses.org or over the phone at (206) 388-1400. The Seattle area box office is open Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm.
The Annual FREE Family Concert is at McCaw Hall on Saturday April 7 at 2pm. Enjoy an afternoon for music-lovers, big and small with our region’s largest singing ensembles and guest performers from the Washington Middle School choir. This one-hour concert features family-friendly songs from Katy Perry, Whitney Houston, The Wizard of Oz, and Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen. Sing along, move about, and dance in the aisles of Seattle’s enormous McCaw Hall as you experience this fun, free, family celebration! Tickets are FREE, advance online reservations are recommended and can be made at www.seattlechoruses.org/attend/concerts-events/family-concert/
This article was also printed in the Seattle Gay News