Suzanne Westenhoefer, EPAC, Ephrata Performing Arts Center
In the two years since her last (third!) sold-out comedy concert for the Ephrata Performing Arts Center, Suzanne Westenhoefer has watched her film debut and her marriage both end up on the cutting room floor.
Instead of winding up on the couch of a therapist like the one she played for two seasons in the cool web comedy series, We Have to Stop Now, America's first out-lesbian stand-up comic has vented it all on the comedy stage, convulsing audiences with her infectiously funny candor.
"Whatever is going on in my life, that's what you hear about," says the Columbia, PA, native who is making her fourth comedy concert appearance Friday, April 12, for EPAC. Show time at the Sharadin Bigler Theatre is 8 p.m. Tickets are $35, including a wine and cheese reception with the comedy club headliner following her performance.
Most comics have a routine. Suzanne takes the routine and spins it into comedy gold: her own HBO comedy special, a Late Show with David Letterman appearance, GSN-TV's remake of I've Got A Secret, several GLAMA Award-winning DVDs and a comedy concert career that finds her at home in LA only about 12 days a month.
Everything from good natured jibes at her conservative Lancaster County upbringing - her great aunt was Amish - to her serial monogamist aversion to the dating scene. It's all fodder for deliciously adult fun.
"My mom always told us," don't do anything to embarrass us," Suzanne said. Although her candid comedy must surely make her mom squirm sometimes, Suzanne's mom is always front and center every time Suzanne plays Lancaster County where much of her family still lives. Her mom has had plenty of company. All three of Suzanne's previous EPAC shows were sold-out, standing ovation events.
Not doing anything "embarrassing" offstage gets tougher all the time for Suzanne. Not that she leads a swinger's life. Far from it. Her private life is not as Plain as her family roots but it's hardly scarlet.
Suzanne, who once competed for the crown of Miss Lancaster County as a dancer and choreographed Oklahoma! at Ephrata High School is not even comfortable dancing in clubs nowadays. "I'm too self-conscious; looking around to see if someone is filming me on YouTube. There's nothing wrong with doing a shot, letting it all hang out once in awhile, but I don't want me on YouTube like that. That's not who I am for real.
"But that's how we get judged nowadays. When we were kids, we could do stupid s - - t and we would pay for it, get grounded by our parents. But by the time you were out of college, it was just a memory. Today, everyone is putting everything out there for the world to judge. I feel sorry for those 14-year-old sexting and doing the Girls Gone Wild thing just once. They are going to get married, have kids and be embarrassed or worse when they get older. Someone is going to walk into a room someday and say, 'Hey, look what she did!'"
Suzanne Westenhoefer isn't giving YouTube the license to laugh at her expense. She prefers to get the last laugh herself ... lots of them!
For reservations to Suzanne Westenhoefer's April 12 concert, visit ephrataperformingartscenter.com or call (717) 733-7966.