Talking to Christopher Peterson
|by Fay Jacobs|
|(as he sews Dolly's dress)
Editor's note: North America's foremost female Impersonator and friend to Rehoboth, Mr. Christopher Peterson will be opening at the Atlantic Sands Hotel for a performance every Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 1-Labor Day. Letters columnist Fay Jacobs talked to Mr. Peterson by phone as he was preparing to leave Key West for his trek to Rehoboth Beach..
FJ: So, when do you pack up and head for Rehoboth?
CP: We're leaving Saturday in a BIG truckI mean I have so many things for so many of my ladies. I'm working on the Dolly Parton gown right now. You should see it. The measurements are unimaginable55, 30, 39. It's amazing. Truly.
FJ: I'm trying to picture this.... I can't. How was your winter and spring in Key West? Where were you performing?
CP: Upstairs at La Te Da in the Crystal Room. But I just got back from a whole Pride tour. We went to Spokane, Portland and Pittsburgh. Fun!
FJ: You're opening Friday night July 1 at the Atlantic Sands here in Rehoboth. How did this all come about?
CP: We've been working on it for a couple of years now. The first time I was approached, I was booked already, so it didn't happen. But then I did a summer AIDS benefit followed by a Christmas Show at the Sands and it worked out so well. Now we'll be doing three nights a week, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from now until Labor Day. It will be great to be back.
FJ: So what can we expect with your shows, any new characters?
CP: Oh yes, Reba MacIntyre will be there, and of course Dolly Parton in that outfit. And Miss Bette Midler, too. Lots of new costumes and wigs. I'll have three different shows each weekend, each one over an hour. I do a total of 22 ladies.
FJ: And your favorite is?
CP: (horrified) I can't choose favorites, they're like children! What I love is that the audiences all have different favorites, with people coming up to me afterward and saying this one or that one was best and they are all different. I'm just so grateful that I have so many lovely ladies to do.
FJ: And you are spending the whole summer with us! What are your plans when you are not performing?
CP: I intend to lie by the pool and eat bon bons. Really. I'll have to wear a big sun hat because I can't get a tan. I do the whitest women in show business. No tan for me. I'll wear a big rainbow sunhat. That should shake up the Sands!
FJ: I remember you doing a sensitive and very dramatic part from a Paula Vogel play some summers ago in Rehoboth. You were wonderful.
CP: You remember that? Well thank you, that was a long time ago. I was some kind of twin trying to kill the other one. I remember it very well because I had to learn the whole part in three days. But I loved it.
FJ: Are you interested in more acting jobs?
CP: Well, yes, I would love to do more acting some day. I have a theatre background and love it. But right now I'm so busy with my show. Maybe when I'm 50 or 55...say, in another 20 years.... Maybe I'd like to do Mame, because she's so over the top.
FJ: I'd love to see it. I bet you'd be great! And speaking of great, we're delighted you'll be our emcee for the CAMP Rehoboth Follies 2005. It's a terrific fundraiser for CAMP and allows us to continue a long tradition of amateur skits in Rehoboth...what have you got up your sleeves for the show?
CP: Well, I have some surprises but I don't want to give it away. I can say that I'll be wearing some Bob Mackie gowns, though. I'm really looking forward to that night and taking part in the CAMP Rehoboth event. CAMP is such an integral part of the community here and I got to see that when I was performing here for several seasons. Without CAMP our community wouldn't have the help it needs and I cannot believe how many things it does and how much community support it gives. I'm happy to be involved in Follies this year.
FJ: Well, we're excited about it, and also your summer gig at the Atlantic Sands. Can't wait to see Lucy, Marilyn, Madonna...and now, I'm really anticipating your Dolly Parton! Welcome back to Rehoboth and break a leg with the show!
CP: Thanks, I'll see you at the Sands. I'm delighted to be coming back to town.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 8 July 1, 2005