I hopped on the phone with the Tupperware Diva to get the low down on her live Christmas show, “Feliz Navi Diva.” Santa, I hope you’re reading.
Shipra (S): So Kay, what inspired you to create “Feliz Navi Diva”?
Kay Sedia (K): Well, last year I did this cho called “Feliz Navi Divas,” where it was myself and Ms. Chi Chi Rones. We did a dual-show together—we did an opening number and then I left the stage and she had the stage for like 30 minutes and then I came onstage for 30 minutes and then we closed it up. She couldn’t do it this year, so I thought this is my chance to go solo because I had been wanting to, but been too afraid to. But this is the chance! I wrote a few more monologues and I put together some of my music and I have a guest coming to each cho and I’m finally going to venture out.
So the inspiration to do a Christmas cho was because everybody loves Christmas, everybody knows Christmas music and everybody’s in a good mood—ready to have fun for the Christmas time so I figured why not add to the celebration with my sexiness.
S: Of course, of course! How does the location play into it? How did you choose that place as where you want to do the show?
K: Well the Casito del Campo Mexican Restaurant is a staple in Silver Lake. I’ve been performing there for over 10 years—I’m gonna say more like 13 years. First on “The Plush Life,” which is a drag improv soap opera. And then, I went on to create “Chico’s Angels” with my co-creator Kurt Koehler and we’ve been performing that show for 10 years now. And then, just naturally, I developed a relationship with the theater manager. I’ve done a sketch comedy show there called “Sketchy Queens” and then I do “Chico’s Angels” like I said and then “Feliz Navi Divas.” It’s [been] a natural progression for me. And so that’s how I chose that venue. I’ve been performing there for a long time.
S: And then you mentioned that you have a guest joining you at each performance. Natalie Lander (“The Middle,” ABC) is one of your guests later on in the progression of the show. How did you get her involved? I know you worked with her on “Chico’s Angels,” but how did you get her to guest star in “Feliz Navi Diva”?
K: First off, I love her. I love her spirit, she’s such a sweetheart and she’s got an amazing voice. All my guests at each show are singers in one way or another—whether they are character singers or actual belters. I just knew I wanted to have her perform at the cho. I wanted to have some contrast because I obviously celebrate Christmas but she’s Jewish so she celebrates Hannukah and so I wanted to get a different perspective on the holiday from someone else. So we’re going to do some little bits, little jokes about us having different celebrations. At the end it’s all the same, we get presents. I asked her and she said she was happy to do it and I’m excited to have her.
S: [laughs] That’s awesome. So how much of the show is rehearsed and how much is improv?
K: Well, we’ll wait to see because I’m rehearsing at the moment what I’ve written so far and a lot of it will be improv as well. So I’m going to say 80 percent is going to be scripted and the rest will be whatever we find on the spot.
I do have a new performer on the stage that will be part of the show as well. My partner…my boyfriend. He’s a little nervous because he’s never been on stage before, ever in his life. I have him doing a few little bits and he’s excited and nervous and scared….
S: That’s exciting! So what has it been like working with your partner?
K: I’ll be honest, I would recommend it for everybody because it is stressful especially for somebody who has never been onstage, but he has an amazing singing voice and he just has never sang in front of people. But okay, so here is your opportunity because you wanted to try it. And what better way to do it than in the basement of a Mexican restaurant where hardly anybody will see you at? You know what I’m saying?
S: [laughs] Yeah. And everyone is there because they love you. I totally get it.
K: We have a good time. We have a good time.
S: This is a question I probably know the answer to but I have to ask—will there be Tupperware in the show and will we end up walking away with Tupperware by the end?
K: Right? Well, I am going to be selling raffle tickets for a Tupperware raffle. Part of the proceeds for that will go to a Tijuana orphanage. Chi Chi and I made a donation last year with some of the donations we got from the show last year and I got a letter from them with gratitude and I thought “Oh I have to continue that,” because I am very fortunate and I want to be able to spread [that]. Tijuana is a big part of my act because I grew up there. I want to be able to share with the less fortunate there. Those children sometimes don’t get a lot of presents so I’m happy to make that donation. That’s the only element of Tupperware that will be in the cho…is selling raffle tickets before the cho starts. I do a Tupperware show nightly in people’s homes and when I get to the stage a lot of my guests from my Tupperware homes come to the cho and I want to give them something different. I know how to do the Tupperware thing. This is a different story, different element. So, no Tupperware.
S: No Tupperware, okay. Can you give us a little bit of a sneak peak? There is almost no information out there so it’s a huge surprise.
K: It’s going to be a big surprise because I like to keep them on the edge of their chonies. And what it is, I am telling some stories. One of my stories is called, “Santa Doesn’t Come to Tijuana” and it’s my perception of why I thought he wouldn’t come there. And then also, I’m going to sing a few Christmas songs like “Santa Baby” but it’s going to be “Santa Papi.” And then I have that standard that I love to sing every year during the holidays [sings] “Mamacita, dondé está Santa Claus / Aye where is Santa Claus / It’s Christmas Eve.” And then I’m gonna do, at the end, with one of my special guest, I’m going to sing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with my immigration officer because you know, everyone has to do it once in their lifetime.
S: [laughs] That’s awesome! So before we wrap this up, do you have any holiday advice for people? What to do, what not to do…
K: Yes, easy on the tequila so the fights can wait until after Christmas because there is nothing worse than fights…a brawling fight in the front lawn of your house on Christmas Eve when everybody is screaming, drunk and falling down. Because I always tell people, you know what, for some people, like in my household during the holidays, that was like community theater because everybody was out looking to see what happened. So hold off from the tequila until after Christmas or at least try to hold off from fighting, that way you don’t have as much of an audience.
And, eat a lot, unwrap a lot of tamales—especially if you don’t have too much to unwrap for the holiday. Tamales are always a good option to unwrap something, that way you feel you are a part of Christmas.
“Feliz Navi Diva” opens at The Cavern Club Theater tomorrow night, December 17th and runs for three nights only.