Lazlo Ilya Pearlman

Lazlo Ilya Pearlman has been making performances since he was a 10-year-old girl. Always a show queen, he appeared in many musicals such as No, No, Nannette, Oliver! and West Side Story (As the tomboy and nascent dyke Jet wannabe "Anybody's"). As an adult with the Provincetown Players on Cape Cod he cross-dressed one way to play Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls and crossed "back" to play Cheri Netherlander to Lea Delaria's Matron in Women Behind Bars. In New York Pearlman was a member of the world renowned WOW Theater, playing the memorable role of Sandy Sonnenshein, the dyke Card Sharp in Lynn Hayes' Guitar Boy.

He also played God in WOW's original production about her, an absurdist surgeon in their version of Ionesco's A Killing Game, and was one of the Jew Girls in the jazz- performance-art-comedy group Sister Theresa and the All Jew Girl Band.

As a lead singer and bass player he fronted such bands as the reggae/ska Small Axe (not small ass, as many thought), wave/punk bands Skinny Wires and Jezebel's Kiss.

Leaving music for theatre in 1992, he co-founded the Dan Savage-led theater company Greek Active in Seattle, Washington. The then female Pearlman played all the male roles in Medea, Macbeth and A Comedy of Errors, to great success. In 1994 he created and directed an all-girl Romeo and Juliet, set in the modern day Seattle snakepit of rival women's softball teams. After that his gender bending became more intense, both personally and professionally. He accessed his inner and outer fag, adapting and directing his oddly gendered and award-winning version of the Douglas Sirk/Ross Hunter/Lana Turner movie Madame X; his surrealist The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Lawrence Welk; and a series of fantasy/nightmare performances for the fetish balls of Seattle.

Around the same time Pearlman became the man he is today. His next project was directing Seattle's summer 2000 hit All About Medea, written by Mark Mitchell, which ingeniously combined the film classic All About Eve with the Greek classic Medea in what has become known as "Queerbuki" style. He co-created and co-directed 1999's LA Weekly pick of the week site-specific Girl Without Hands. In 2000 he directed another Weekly pick, LeVan D. Hawkin's I Reject These Labels. He returned to the stage in 2001 with his award-winning one person show Unhung. That same year he wrote, directed and co-produced the first FTM comedy short movie, Unhung Heroes, distributed by Frameline and currently being shown in festivals around the world. He most recently appeared on stage with Cornerstone Theater and the Orphean Circus at the Evidence Room. Theatre critics in Seattle and Los Angeles have pronounced his work 'larky', 'groovy', 'lively', 'reverential', 'deft', 'rollicking', 'expert' and 'awe-inspiring'.

Currently, Lazlo is in London and Europe through 2005 performing on the festival and cabaret/club scene and completing his graduate work in The Actor Created Physical Theatre program at London International School of Performing Arts

Και κατι απο οτι λεει ο ιδιος

I take my pants off on stage because at this point in my artistic career, it’s important to me that the fact that I am trans be visible in my work. Because it changes the work. A work is inevitably different based on who we perceive the performer to be.”

Nonetheless, there are many ways to talk about transgender bodies; dropping trou is only one. But Pearlman believes it’s most effective in his particular case. “I don’t want to say it with words, in part because nobody believes me, in part because it’s boring. So how do I say this? The only way that I’ve found is to take off my pants. And while I’m no spring chicken and I don’t have the best body in the world, I’m not shy about being naked on stage. It seems like it’ll be the hardest thing in the world to do but it’s so easy. And it always works.”

"I don’t consider myself to be male or female, gay or straight. I’m a multiple of everything..."

Lazlo's Performance


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