Arts News

Gays Flood Abravanel Hall for Kathy Griffin

Saturday, Nov. 21 Abravanel Hall felt like Gay Pride, according to some who attended the Kathy Griffin show. The energetic buzz that filled the four-story lobby prior to the show spilled over into the exquisite concert hall, filling 2,032 seats of the 2,768-seat venue. It’s no wonder that Griffin has such a large gay and lesbian following: She’s an outspoken gay rights advocate, including in the media, on her cable television show My Life on the D-List and in her stand-up routines; she has no qualms about trashing celebrities, political figures and wannabes.

The audience roared as Griffin entered, bounding across the hardwood stage. Her set: a small cocktail table with bottles of water and a microphone. Dressed in simple black, she opened with asking who in the crowd’s gay. A sea of hands shot into the air. A fair amount of lesbians wielded their arms next when asked, and then several dozens of heterosexuals less heartedly replied, as if shaken by the outnumbering.

During Griffin’s 90-minute uninterrupted performance, she dug into big names including Oprah Winfrey, Paula Abdul and Sarah Palin, as well as lesser-known personalities like Levi Johnston (the father of Palin’s bastard grandchild) and the Real Housewives of Atlanta — all of which were backdropped with hilarious verbal lashings from her etiquette-rearing mother.

For those in the audience who may not have cable television access or who may not watch reality programs might have felt the bit on the Housewives was too long or might have felt mostly unmoved by the jokes.

Also, Griffin is well known for her wicked tongue and outrageous sexual diatribes, and although she threw out some jabs that made even the toughest-skinned audience members blush, the overall show felt a little tame in terms of her usual brashness. Yet, Griffin’s material was dead-on for what I can only assume was an assumption by her that the Salt Lake City crowd needed to be a little sheltered. I just hope in her future appearances, her performance will be no-holds barred, so we can be fully honored with the presence of the sensational Kathy Griffin.

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