Be prepared to LOL with comedians Suzanne Westenhoefer, Gina Yashere, and Elvira Kurt. Enjoy musical performances by singer-songwriters Crystal Bowersox and Be Steadwell. Dance the night away with DJ Rockaway and DJ Tatiana. Greet each morning with yoga and meditation with yogini Richelle Donigan. And stay tuned for more entertainment announcements in the coming months!
No one ever accused Suzanne of being subtle, not the shuttle driver who took her to the airport, the woman she was in line with at the grocery store yesterday and certainly not her audiences. Subtle, she is not.
After 25 years of groundbreaking, stereotype-shattering and brutally honest comedy, she’s not about to start pulling punches now.
The kid from Amish Country who began her comedy career on a dare is celebrating a quarter century of out, open, no-holds-barred comedy.
Suzanne tells the truth. The truth is life is funny, especially when it’s fermented in Suzanne’s mind. That’s why she could never be in the closet, making her a trailblazer when she started doing stand-up in the 1990s. She was the first openly lesbian comedian with an HBO Special and the first openly lesbian comedian on “Late Night with David Letterman.”
Heck, she was on Sally Jesse Raphael in 1991 on a show called “Breaking the Lesbian Stereotype…Lesbians Who Don’t Look Like Lesbians.” From “OMG, a lesbian has long hair and wears make up” to “I went to Helen and Jane’s wedding last weekend,” that’s how far we’ve come in the 25 years Suzanne has been telling her truth to audiences all over the world. Some of that is certainly thanks to her candor, courage and charisma.
Suzanne never does the same show twice. She can’t. She doesn’t write anything down. She charges boldly onto the stage and what happens is always a mystery and a delight. Enjoy a wild night of comedy in a city near you.
Gina Yashere was born and raised in London by her Nigerian parents. Before becoming a comic, she worked as an elevator engineer for Otis.
She has been a stand-up comedian and TV star in the UK for several years now, with appearances on iconic TV shows such as Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week, and The Lenny Henry Show, for which she created and played the popular comedic characters Tanya and Mrs Omokorede.
Gina broke onto the American comedy scene with her appearances on Last Comic Standing (NBC), where she made it to the final 10—and then never went home! She went on to be named one of the top ten rising talents by the Hollywood Reporter. Gina is also known in the US for being the only British comedian to ever appear on the iconic Def Comedy Jam as well as for her appearances on The Tonight Show (NBC), Crashing (HBO), and @midnight (Comedy Central), her one-hour stand-up specials Skinny B*tch (Showtime), Laughing to America (Starz), and Ticking Boxes (Sirius XM), and now as the British Correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
Gina’s fourth stand-up special, currently streaming on Netflix as part of The Standups compilation, is garnering great reviews. She has performed for audiences not just in Europe, the US, and Australia, but also in Asia, where she has had numerous sold-out appearances in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. Gina has also performed numerous times at the prestigious Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal and Toronto. Her feature films appearances have included Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Mr In-Between, and she has also appeared on the West End’s Arts Theatre stage, in The Vagina Monologues.
Gina currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is producing, writing, and acting on the new CBS sitcom Bob Hearts Abishola, which she co-created with Chuck Lorre, and working on a memoir.
Elvira Kurt is a Canadian national treasure in the Dept. of Comedy, a trail-blazing queer icon whose awards, accolades and accomplishments are far too many to mention. Except for these - talk show host: popcultured with Elvira Kurt, -game show host: Spin Off, -writer & performer: Baroness Von Sketch Show, Match Game, The Debaters, -actor: DeGrassi: The Next Generation, -writer & talent director: Canada’s Drag Race, The Great Canadian Baking Show, MasterChef Canada, -Hall of Shame curator for CBC radio's ‘Q’ and also, ‘q'.
Elvira’s comedy specials are -award-winning: Big Girl Now! , -trendsetting: Out There, Comedy Central Presents, -and- persistent, even in a pandemic: #CanadaPerforms: Elvira Kurt. She’s sold-out theaters with solo shows from Iqaluit to New Zealand, slayed at international comedy festivals from JFL to Sydney and has showcased everywhere from The Tonight Show to NickMom Night Out.
Elvira continues to break new ground whether it's being featured in a coloring book of queer superstars, getting married and attending Pride in Miss Persona, the first pre-school series to feature an openly gay family storyline or, during a covid lockdown, hosting -alone in a theater- the CBC Arts broadcast special, Queer Pride Inside. This is one busy Teacup Butch!
Awards? She has a few: Canadian Screen, Canadian Comedy, SF Film Festival, Worldfest Gold, Silver, Toronto Fringe Festival and, for the short film she wrote, Reel Women Seen, the Jury Choice Award at Cannes! Clearly, Elvira’s no slouch.
Crystal Bowersox, a northwest Ohio native currently calling Nashville home, has built her life around music. Crystal’s love for music developed at an early age, from a need to find peace in a chaotic world. Through art and creation, Crystal was able to direct her energy and emotion, finding a way to mend a mind in turmoil. For her, music was always the most effective form of catharsis, and she would play for anyone, anywhere. In her own words, “my guitar was an appendage. I couldn’t live without it.”
Dead set on a career in music, Crystal moved to Chicago as a teenager, spending her days performing underground on subway platforms between working odd jobs. There she broadened her musical horizons and shared her talents in a variety of venues, ultimately auditioning for American Idol. Crystal’s time on the show proved to be well spent—she immediately left the soundstage for the recording studio. Since then, she has released three LPs, two EPs, and several singles and is currently developing Trauma Queen, an autobiographical theatrical rock concert. Additionally, she has used her talents to benefit several causes close to her heart, including becoming an advocate and inspiration for people with Type 1 diabetes.
To create her latest LP, Alive, Crystal called on her “chosen family” of musicians and drew upon her influences—folk-pop, classic rock, soul, blues, and country—to make music that resonates with her spirit. It is both tender and tough, rough yet polished. And Crystal’s voice, as one of her songwriting partners describes it, is “like dirt and diamonds.”
Crystal intends to make music with healing power. At this point, she sees far beyond her own troubles, but by reliving her own painful moments in song, she hopes to transcend that pain, lifting both herself and her audience to a higher place. In the opening lines of “A Broken Wing” she sings, “I know there’s beauty in the burden / And even on my darkest day that sun will shine.” Crystal’s story is one of resilience and perseverance, and it’s evident in every note of Alive.
Be Steadwell is a musician, filmmaker, and storyteller from Washington DC. In her live performances, she utilizes looping, vocal layering, and beat boxing to compose her songs on stage. Be's original music features earnest lyricism, and Affirming LGBTQ content.
After receiving a BA at Oberlin College, Be completed her MFA in film at Howard University in 2014. Her film Vow of Silence featured in film festivals around the world, including Black Star, HBO's OutFest, The Schomburg Center, Inside Out Toronto, and Fringe Fest UK. In 2017, Issa Rae Featured Vow of Silence on her Short Film Sundays Series.
Be has shared stages with fellow artist Activists Big Freedia, Nona Hendryx, Nikky Finney, and Gina Yashere. In 2017, Be sang at The Women's March on the National Mall behind Maxwell and Janelle Monae in Toshi Reagon's Big Lovely Band. In May 2018, Be released her newest album Queer Love Songs. This year, Be composed the music for The Alvin Ailey dance company's production of "the gone". In her latest work, A Letter to My Ex, the musical, Be tells stories of love, loss, and intimacy through a collage of music, movement and film—narrating one character’s journey through the year following a breakup.
Born and raised in Queens, DJ Rockaway has been bringing her passion and love for music to US and international dance floors for nearly two decades. Although she is true New Yorker (just listen to her talk!), she is a regular on both the East and West coasts. You’ll find her spinning at nightclubs, weddings and other private events, and galas for national nonprofits, such as NCLR, HRC, and Equality California, to name a few—and she is also a regular DJ on Olivia cruise and resort vacations.
The executive producer of the San Francisco Women’s Stage and the founder of PLAY San Francisco and PLAY San Jose, monthly events for women who love to dance, DJ Rockaway has created a unique mix of music styles—dance, hip-hop, R&B, house, club, retro—that allows her to play for all who love to dance and feel the music. In her spare time, you can find her behind a camera lens, playing with her drone, or filming and editing music videos. For DJ Rockaway, music is more than a blend of sounds, music is an experience… she wants you to feel it, live it, escape into it.
Born in Madrid and based in Denver Colorado, Tatiana is an established International female DJ with over 20 years in the industry. Her passion for music, international travel and an undeniable energy that draws crowds to the dance floor, has placed DJ Tatiana into a class of her own making her one of the most sought-after DJ’s in the game. Tatiana’s experience traveling the world has allowed her to become fluent in different genres and sounds including hip hop, top 40 remixes, moombahton, house, Latin and circuit. Her honed DJ skills, mass following and extensive music library that knows no borders, allows her to play to any crowd.
DJ Tatiana has current monthly residencies in Denver Colorado, San Francisco, CA and Los Angeles, CA drawing crowds of 2500 - 3000 people nightly, as well as her other monthly residency at First Fridays, the largest monthly women's party in the USA. She also holds seasonal residencies at Temple Nightclub and at DRLO Live in Madrid, Spain.
Aside from these residencies, former Billboard DJ Tatiana demonstrates international relevancy, headlining events around the world.
Richelle Evelyn Donigan is a masterful Yoga Instructor, Life Coach, Author, and Speaker. She has been in the work and study of transformation for more than 40 years. Richelle has an extraordinary gift for creating safe empowering spaces for beginners and communities that have been traditionally underserved. She has created and led numerous retreats and workshops focusing on LGBTQ Communities. Her Butch Yoga workshops allow Butch Identified women to come as they are, listen and be heard by other Butches and support one another as they share and practice together. Richelle’s Vision Workshops are life changing. You will walk out with powerful clarity and strategies to create a life that you absolutely LOVE. A consummate teacher, Richelle embodies wellness and is dedicated to uplifting community with the profound healing practices of Yoga & Vision.