Alter Ego

Tony Clifton & the Katrina Kiss My Ass Orchestra is a revival of deceased comedian Andy Kaufman’s classic alter ego: the obnoxious, mustached-and-side-burned anti-lounge singer. But who is Tony Clifton? The question is more complicated than it sounds. “I know, being an Andy Kaufman fan, that Tony always wanted to be booked as though he were a real person, so that’s the approach I took,” says Walnut Room media contact John Kinsner. “I never asked who it was, and I think that’s the reason a show that should have been doing the Paramount or the Gothic came here.”

No matter who’s under that ruffled lounge suit and dark glasses, Clifton is sure to bring the house down. Opening tonight and continuing tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the Walnut Room, 3131 Walnut Street, Clifton and his nine-piece big-band orchestra will do everything from nostalgic Kaufman bits to show tunes and current-events standup. “Stereotypically, part of the gag of the act is that it was terrible,” says Kinsner. “That’s not what this tour is about at all.” Proceeds benefit Hurricane Katrina victims.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. For more information, call 303-292-1700 or go to
Sept. 26-27, 8 p.m., 2008

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Mark Dragotta