John Kelly got a scholarship to American Ballet Theater when he was 17. After dancing for a while he went to Parsons to study art. Then he hit the East Village Paradise Club and began performing, singing songs, in boy drag or other drag (e.g., dressed as Joni Mitchell), and the rest is history. Kelly, with a 3-octave range, calls himself a “Range Queen.” Yes, in addition to being multi-talented, he has a very good sense of humor. Kelly has performed many places including at Brooklyn Academy of Music, and debuted his one-person piece, The Escape Artist, at PS 122 in 2011. He has many awards and grants to his name including 2 Bessie Awards, 2 Obie Awards and an 2 NEA American Masterpiece Awards. You may remember Kelly’s videos from ICA’s 2010 show, Queer Voice. Kelly performs The Escape Artist, Friday, Jan. 24 at Bryn Mawr College. We talked with him Jan. 6 and he graciously sang a song from the show for us, “Out of Body,” which features that amazing voice.
Right click to download 16-minute John Kelly episode
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