May 23, 2008

Raven as a panelist on Whats My Line? Live on Stage!

Feeling guilty because you missed my Hot Mama Burlesque Show last week (it was a huge, SRO success by the way)? Or do you love me so much that you just have to see me on stage again, stat? Or perhaps you just want a fantastically funny night out? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” have I got a show for you!

This Monday, May 26, I’ll be appearing as a panelist on the live stage version of the iconic ‘50s game show What’s My Line?, directed by Jim Newman and hosted by J. Keith van Straaten. “But Raven,” you say. “That sounds so familiar.” Well it should. I wrote an article about it for Time Out a few months back. During its 10-week run, I’ve seen the show a number of times, and I’m honored to be participating in the last episode of the season.

My fellow panelists include actor/playwright (and Muppet Movie alum!) Austin Pendleton, The Daily Show’s John Oliver and Tony-nominated Avenue Q-er Stephanie D'Abruzzo. Together we will attempt to guess the off-beat jobs of three contestants--plus the identity of one famous mystery guest--posing only yes-or-no questions. The show is a true hoot (and trust me, I don’t use the word “hoot” lightly…or often!) I just hope I have as much fun sitting on stage as I do sitting in the audience. For an impressive list of previous panelists/mystery guests, check out

What: What’s My Line? Live!
Where: Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow St .
When: May 26 at 8 p.m.
How much: $25, 2-for-1 tickets available at the box office the night of the show. Email me for details.

Although I doubt anyone reads this blog anymore, I am going to post some exciting news here: As of June 2 I start a new job as AOL's Celebrity Programming Manager. That means I will be the owner of these two pages: movie celebs and TV celebs. I enjoyed my time at Nick's ParentsConnect, but I really missed pop culture. Anyone who knows me realizes that I'm obsessed with it, so I guess it was just a matter of time before I went back. I'm also hoping this job will be a little less stressful so I can have time to pursue the other things I love: performing and of course, parenting. So expect this blog to be updated more frequently! Like once every two months instead of three.

If you're hankering to see photos of Marlena, check out my flickr page.

April 09, 2008

Raven Live Onstage: Boobs! Blues! And B-Movies!

I have five fantastic performances coming up in April and May. They really run the gamut, so there's something to please everyone, from ecdysiast enthusiasts to aural aficionados, from geeks to freaks to parents in need of a little excitement.

On Saturday, April 12, I'm be performing at Victoria at Stonewall Inn, a party celebrating faux queens (in Raven parlance, "female female impersonators). I hosted the debut Victoria last November and have been a semi-regular guest ever since. This month's theme is Bridge & Tunnel, and although I'm a born-and-bred Manhattanite, I look forward to finding my inner mall chick. Hosted by the always wondrous World Famous *BOB* and featuring my fellow female drag queens Darlinda Just Darlinda and Sequinette (among others), the evening will undoubtedly be an outrageous, outer-borough spectacle.

What: Victoria : Bridge & Tunnel
Where: Stonewall Inn , 53 Christopher Street
When: Saturday, April 12 at 11:30-ish p.m.
How much: $10 at the door, $5 if you email

On Thursday, April 24, I'm hosting one of the city's longest-running burlesque revues, Starshine Burlesque, and although it's as fabulous as ever, it recently underwent a big change: The show moved from RiFiFi to The Fortune Cookie Lounge at Lucky Cheng's. Happily, it's still "co-enabled" by two of my favorite ladies—Little Brooklyn and Creamy Stevens—and there's sure to be a risqué roster of burlesque beauties gracing the stage. Back in the '90s, I was the first biological female to perform at Lucky Cheng's drag restaurant and bar. I'm thrilled to be returning to the venue, and this time, I don't even have to pull a Julie Andrews.

What: Starshine Burlesque
Where: The Fortune Cookie Lounge at Lucky Cheng's
When: Doors and pre-show go-go at 10 p.m., show begins at 10:30 p.m.
How much: $10

On Sunday, April 27, I'm honored to be a part of color-queen Darlinda Just Darlinda's Year in Rainbow performance project, by appearing in her Blue Bluer Bluest show at Union Pool in Williamsburg. Darlinda is truly one of the most creative (not to mention colorful!) performer/producers working in burlesque today. And she's teamed up with another bold burlesque personality, diva Shelly Watson, who is coproducing and performing. I must really be impressed with them, because I never haul my cookies all the way out to Brooklyn for anything other than the Mermaid Parade. But for these ladies, I'd even go to the 'burbs (although thank god I don't have to). Other performers going blue include Anita Cookie, Amber Ray and Tanya Gagne of the Wau Wau Sisters.

What: Blue, Bluer, Bluest
Where: Union Pool, 484 Union Avenue
When: Sunday, April 27 at 8 p.m.
How much: $15, $10 for those wearing blue (and blue jeans don't count!)

On Wednesday, May 14, I'll be geeking out thanks to my new buddy Kevin Maher. A hilarious writer/pop-culture pundit, Maher contributes amusing videos to, where I also blog. He did a piece on one of my favorite bad movies, the uber-campy, sci-fi, New Wave, Adam and Eve flick The Apple, and I sent him a slightly scary email about my inexplicable love for the film. Apparently Maher suffers from a similar obsession, because he decided to show it at his Sci-Fi Screening Room series in the East Village , and he asked me to co-host! I'm not exactly sure what we'll be doing yet, but I know it will involve glitter, sing-a-longs, some really cheesy outfits and one of the worst films ever made projected on a big-ish screen.

What: Sci-Fi Screening Room Presents The Apple
Where: Theatre Under St. Marks, 94 St. Marks Place
When: May 14 at 7 p.m.
How much: $7

On Friday, May 16, my nine-month labor of love finally makes its debut. I'm producing and hosting the first-ever all-moms burlesque revue, Hot Mama Burlesque, as part of the Mamapalooza festival. My fellow bodacious burly-Q breeders include Slipper Room co-owner Camillicious, Seattle siren and Wife Swap survivor Ravenna Black, hot and happy homemaker Fritzi Collins, temptress Tessie Tingle, The Incredible, Edible Akynos and double-D diva Allison Tilsen. Also on hand to celebrate procreation in their own special way: sexy (but childless) Starshine mamas Little Brooklyn and Creamy Stevens. This show is truly my own baby, and I need all my supporters to come out for it to make it a success. So please mark your calendars now! Look at the photo below. You don't want to miss this one!

What: Hot Mama Burlesque
Where: The Green Room, 45 Bleecker Street
When: Friday, May 16 at 10:30 p.m.
How much: $12, $6 if you mention the Green two-for-one special

December 21, 2007

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I know I haven't written forever (OK five months to be exact). And I even had to delete my last entry from July 23 due to spam comments (I have reposted it below, but turned off the comments function for obvious reasons!) 2007 was a very hectic year with a lot of changes, but I promise to write more (or at least post fun pics!) in 2008. And I also intend to revamp my website and launch a *real( blog, one that isn't constantly overrun by spammers. Wow, I think these are my first New Year's resolutions. Awesome!

A couple of weeks ago, Marlena went to her classmate Sofia's birthday party. Almost all of her classmates were there. It was definitely bordering on adorable-overload.

Marlena going on her first flight, sans mommy and daddy.

Marlena chatting it up with birthday girl Sofia. That's Jose's hand lingering there. I figured it out because he has a long pinkie nail, despite not having a coke habit. Weird.

You've heard of that SNL sketch Dick in a Box... well this is Marlena in a Box, and it's way cuter.

The balls were the hit of the party. And yes, I know how wrong that sounds.

A future Rebecca Lobo?

"All done balls."

She takes her music very seriously.

With daddy on the trampoline.

With her classmate Michael. Balls really are the best.

July 15, 2007

A New Job, A New Daycare and New Photos!

So there have been a lot of changes in our lives of late. At the end of last month, I left and joined Nickelodeon as a senior editor of a new parenting site that will launch at the end of the summer. Although I was sad to leave TVG, it had to be done. Without going into too many of the gory details, there was an editorial regime change that upset many members of the staff. In fact, in a two-month period, five people left for greener pastures, including me. Now there's news that Gemstar, TVG's parent company, is looking into selling off various divisions. While it's unclear exactly how that will affect TVG, I'm guessing its fate may be bleak, so it seems I got out at the right time. In the Internet age, TVG's mass exodus has not gone unnoticed. The site has a devoted community of users who got to know the editorial staff by reading and commenting on our blogs. When the first few employees left, users just said goodbye. But when Angel Cohn—one of my dearest friends and a beloved TVG writer for eight years—announced she was leaving, her blog was filled not just with well wishes, but questions asking what the hell was going on. My favorite remark: "I am so scared for TV Guide! Why are there so many leaving at once? Is there some new ogre-boss?" (For more comments, check out Angel's last post.) Oh dear users, if you only knew. However, I know enough not to blog the details (besides if I were really going to burn that bridge, I'd tell all to my gal pal Doree over at Gawker. But I'm *way* too much of a pussy).

In addition to my new job, Marlena is about to start at a new daycare. It's closer to my new job and cheaper than her current center and while I know she'll miss Bright Horizons terribly, I believe she'll come to love her new school. When we took a tour, she walked right into her future classroom during circle time, hovered over the teacher for a minute, then sat down. Her Bright Horizon's teacher Ellie really taught her well!

And now, the part you've all been waiting for: new Marlena photos! They've been two months in coming, and I hope you'll agree that they were worth the wait.

Apparently mom's tattoos are very inspiring. Marlena just loves to draw all over herself.

Back in June on the plane to Orlando, to attend our friend Gloria's wedding, visit mommy's nanny Mavis, who's 87, and do Disney, of course!

Plane rides are fun, especially when the plane takes off on time.

"Great, they take me to Disney and all we do is the carousel. Lame!" Seriously, we did other rides, too. But I think the carousel may have been her favorite. We should have just taken her to Central Park and called it a day.

Smile for the camera! Smile! OK, fine, do your sexy pout.

Great, mommy wants me to pose with yet *another* drag queen. Sigh.

She is pretty cute though.

Life... is intense. Especially at Disney World.

Marlena is welcomed by celebrities.

I don't know who is more huggable.

Asleep in the car seat. God, she *hated* driving everywhere. Marlena's definitely a city baby.

Jose and Marlena partying with Gloria on her big day.

Marlena in her pretty party dress.

Having fun and looking good at Gloria's wedding.

Marlena meets Mavis, the woman who raised me (sorry mom!) Seriously, I grew up with *two* mommies, and I couldn't ask for better ones.

"Fish!!!" Marlena loved Animal Kingdom. Too bad we got rained out.

I know it's hard to tell from this photo, but Marlena was *obsessed* with Rafiki. She followed him around babbling for like an hour, and Jose and I had to keep pulling her away from him so he could talk to other kids. I think she was hoping he'd adopt her.

More hugs and kisses from Pooh and the gang.

Marlena in the airport, on our way home from Orlando. Our plane was delayed eight hours. Yup, a two-hour flight turned into a 10-hour saga. And yet Marlena took it better than both of her parents.

In the Orlando airport's Outback Steakhouse, where we wasted, oh, about four hours.

Making the most out of life, no matter what.

Back in NYC: My buddy (and ex-neighbor, boo New Jersey!) Carolyn Castiglia snapped this action shot of Marlena. Yes, when we Jews stuff our faces with food, it constitutes an action shot.

Marlena and Carolyn's stunning daughter, Adriana, know exactly what sunglasses are for: chewing!

Starlets in training.

Thank god she knows how to get into her stroller. I can barely lift her anymore!

I'm surprised they didn't cancel each other out with their mutual cuteness.

More indescribable cuteness.

And more...

And more...

Wow. She looks *nothing* like me. Jose's got some seriously strong genes.

May 13, 2007

In Two Months, Nothing Happens, Except Marlena Grows

Who knew I could lose my charming trait of being endlessly self-involved? Of course being fixated on my daughter probably still counts as being self-obsessed, right? It's been two months since I've "blogged." Who am I kidding? This blog is just a receptacle for photos of Marlena and (occasional) self-promotion. Let's start with the shameless *me* part: This Thursday, May 17, I am making one of my rare stage appearances, hosting one of my faves, Starshine Burlesque. Sadly the show's lovely co-enabler Creamy Stevens won't be present but her colleague in bump-'n'-crime, Little Brooklyn, will be there with pasties on. Other performers include the stunning Scarlet Sinclair, the very bad (in a good way!) Devilicia from Boston's Black Cat Burlesque, the new nudie Pandora, the multitalented Lady Aye and the rousing Harvest Moon. The fun begins at 10 p.m. at Rififi (332 E. 11th St. near First Ave.) Hope to see you there!

And now for the family portion of my entry. Genius photographer Ted D'Ottavio took these fabulous pictures of me and my little one at my gal pal Allison Tilsen's baby shower this past Saturday. Oh and there's one from the Easter Parade last month, too!

Me, Christian and Marlena braved the bad weather to parade down Fifth Ave. on Easter. The things we'll go through for attention.

I look like crap without lipstick, but Marlena makes up for it, no?

Marlena is blinded by all the glamour.

A budding Chopin... or more likely Tori Amos (hey she's writing a musical!)

Equally cute in color, or black and white.