LA CULTURE HOUND

CONFESSIONAL, CATHARTIC UNCABARET

We are schmoozing the hostess trying to get into the packed room, but she is unimpressed by our plea.  “You can’t believe the stories I’ve heard tonight from people trying to get in,” she tells us.  “You’ll just have to talk to Beth.”  We manage to squeeze our way into the jammed, celeb-dotted room, where you can feel the anticipation crackle.  Beth Lapides, the creator of UnCabaret at First & Hope, takes the mic and charmingly sighs, “How could we say no to any of you?”  We have wangled our way into the premiere Sunday night downtown hot spot, where gutsy, confessional, did-she-really-just-say-that? entertainment reigns.  Tonight’s line-up is characteristically strong, including Michael McDonald, Tim Bagley, Cheri Oteri, Rebecca Corry, Faith Tucker, Karen Kilgariff and Allee Willis.  The highlights are plentiful, including Rebecca Corry’s riotous bit about ”aggressive wiping,” Tim Bagley’s ruminations on sex conversion therapy and firing his therapist after catching him in an unthinkable act and Cheri Oteri’s hilarious riff about her grandmother. (“My nana was a junkie, I could tell by her make-up when her drugs were kicking in.”) Prolific music legend Allee Willis closes the show with an utterly charming account of the origin of her hit song Neutron Dance and its unlikely, mystical journey.  The wild night ends with a sing-along to Neutron Dance, led by Willis, who confesses to the rapt crowd,  “If any of you dropped dead right now, I could write a melody to the clunk.”  — Jon Bernstein.  Sunday nights at UnCabaret, located downtown at First & Hope.