Joey Arias Over the Moon
Joey Arias, cabaret star and NYC legend, returns to the Castro Theatre on Valentine’s Day after a two-year absence with a show he describes as, “a love letter to San Francisco”.
Joey Arias first gained the national spotlight in 1979 when he appeared with the late Klaus Nomi singing back up for David Bowie on Saturday Night Live shocking sleepy, soon to be Reagan America with their version of gender fuck drag.
As the repressive 80′s dawned downtown Manhattan erupted with clubs, art, and inventive expression all fueled by an elite crew known as the Downtown 500. Joey found himself center stage amongst these ground breakers like Jean Michel Basquiat, Kieth Haring, Ann Magnuson, Fab Freddy Five just to name a few.
I met him at Club 57 where he ruled the world one song at a time developing a signature style that was an homage to jazz great Billie Holiday.
In the 90′s Joey produced a show called ‘Strange Fruit‘ based on his interpretations of the great Lady Day. He blazed trails at Bar d’O with weekly shows that showcased many of NY’s rising talents.
In the ‘one day you’re in the next day you’re out’ sphere of entertainment Joey has managed to keep himself and his art fresh and current. He singularly developed the role of Seductress Ringmaster for Cirque Soliel’s popular show, Zumanity at the start of the 21st century.
I caught up with Joey by phone as he paused for a moment post lunch, pre evening show, at Joe’s Pub in the East Village where he’s been dabbling with new material that runs the gamut of Metal to Medieval.
Castro Biscuit: Hey Joey!
Joey Arias: Hey gurl, hey. (laughing) How you been?
CB: I’m good. It’s been awhile since we last talked. How stoked are you to be coming to San Francisco?
JA: Completely! I love San Francisco. I mean I left my heart there just like everybody else.
CB: I’m excited to see you. How long has it been since you were here last? Rrazz Room show?
JA: No. I think when I preformed with Pink Martini and the SF Orchestra. I’m really excited this show is a giant love letter to the City and all the things I’ve always been inspired by that originated from there. The Cockettes, Sylvester, the underground theatre scene, all of it.
CB: So what can the audience expect to hear?
JA: I think love swings in different directions and these songs I’ve chosen reflect that. I want to think beyond borders. Love, ts about the presence-about what the meaning of life. Songs that showcase love in all it’s many forms. Of course I’m gonna do some modern classics too.
CB: Seems you’ve packed in the talent for show as well.
JA: I LOVE Veronica Klaus. Her new album, ‘Something Cool’, is great. Connie Champagne is gonna add her fabulous voice and then we’re gonna mix it up with a fashion show from one of San Francisco’s biggest talents, Mr. David.
CB: Wow. You and Marc have really created quite a program.
JA: Baby, it’s at the Castro Theatre, a classic, an icon, you’ve got to come big.
CB: You sound ready to serve it.
JA: All in the name of love, baby! (laughing) Mwwhhaa!
Marc Huestis Presents, in association with Earl Dax, Valentine’s Day Concert X-Travaganza- JOEY ARIAS- Love Swings!
Curtain is 8 pm, Thursday, Feb 14 at the Castro Theatre.
Tickets available via:
or call 415 863-0611
$28 Balcony/ General Seating
$38 Orch Side/ General Seating
$75 VIP Orch Center Reseved + VIP after Reception.
2/11: 8 PM UPDATE: In celebration of the Pope’s resignation Marc Huestis and company are offering a ONE DAY SPECIAL for JOEY ARIAS’ VD Day Spectacular- Orch Side seats for only $20. Go to link below and type in the code REDHOT. Only 50 tix offered at this price so ACT NOW. They will SELL OUT!