I caught wind of the frequent convening later than I hoped, but was ultimately grateful to have made it. I’m referring to Justin Sayre’s International Meeting of Sodomites, a standing comedy routine held downtown at Joe’s Pub. Sayre’s variety show format began at the intimate Duplex space in the West Village and later moved to the larger venue where he has been packing the pub and entertaining audiences with his brand of wicked humor and tributes to musical icons. “The Meeting” has also entertained crowds across the country in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Clearly, sodomites are everywhere and fortunately, we have a strong leader with Sayre at the helm.
His success has taken him to Hollywood where he is currently a staff writer for the CBS comedy, 2 Broke Girls. Sayre ended the season on Sunday, May 22nd by saluting Prince. He told amusing anecdotes about his mother (who raised him in the small town of Forty Fort, Pennsylvania), offered clever observations about the LBGT community and later, applauded the Obama Administration for designating the Stonewall Inn as a historic landmark. “But really ,queens…we can do better,” he added with perfect dry delivery. Throughout the evening, he introduced an impressive line up of talent who paid musical homages to the late pop star. Tony De Sare, Michael Cavadias, Bridget Barkan and Mark Aaron James sang their own interpretations of classic Prince songs, under the sharp musical direction of Tracy Stark. Ali Grieb was a particular stand-out as she brought down the house with her transfixing cover of “Nothing Compares To You,” a song made popular by Sinead O’ Conner but written by Prince.
Sayre broke sad news to his fans by announcing that next season would be his last. However, his humor will be immortalized with the recent release of his new comedy album, The Gay agenda, available here or on amazon.com
This Monday night June 6th, he will host the sixth annual “Night of 1000 Judys” benefitting the Ali Forney center. Broadway luminaries including Lillias White, Alice Ripley, Annie Golden, Vivian Reed and many others will all contribute to an evening of skits, tributes, and music honoring Judy Garland. The soiree will be held at Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center. More info can be found on the fabulous artwork below or by clicking here.
While his quips are often painfully brutal, Sayre also displays a human kindness which evokes hints of an urban Mark Twain or Garrison Keillor. It’s comforting to know that another season is in store. Given all the “sturm und drang” that’s happening in our country right now, at least we’ll have something to look forward to with Sayre as our savior of sanity. But, we’ll want to bring kleenex to wipe away the combined tears of sadness and sass when the final meeting adjourns.