Sing Her Praises

“My squeezebox was my mom's IUD. I popped out wearing it,” claims veteran comic and accordionist Judy Tenuta. "Then I became the petite Aphrodite of the Accordion. I would lock myself in the closet to play “Lady of Spain” until Elvis appeared to me and said, "Hey, pretty mama, you need to have your own religion."

If you can follow that train of illogic, you might just be ripe for conversion to Judyism — the farcical faith for which Tenuta serves as both preacher and deity. It even warranted its own book, The Power of Judyism, in 1991, but Tenuta will always be best known as a quirky fixture of the ’80s, when she appeared in MTV ads, "Weird Al” Yankovic videos and alongside her former husband, Emo Philips — perhaps the one comedian of her age more weird than she is. Since then, she's kept busy with various guest spots and live appearances, not to mention a hilarious bit in the 2006 Hilary Duff vehicle Material Girls. Still, the Grammy-nominated Tenuta — whose most recent album, A Space Goddessy, came out in 2002 — seems to be most comfortable in her comedic skin while slinging the accordion. Or, as she herself so graciously puts it: “Please note that my squeezebox is really like a musical push-up bra — a fashion accessory that sings!” We'll just have to take that as gospel.

Tenuta performs tonight at 7 p.m. and again at 9:30 at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret, 1601 Arapahoe Street. Admission is $30; for tickets and info, call 303-293-0075 or visit
Sat., Sept. 19, 7 & 9 p.m., 2009

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Jason Heller
Contact: Jason Heller

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