You may be too young to remember when Julia Roberts and weird country crooner Lyle Lovett were married. If you are, then screw you for being so young. But I remember when I first heard about the unlikely couple. I couldn’t help but think, “What a strange combination!” And then, a moment later, I couldn’t help but think, “That big ol’ scary Frankenstein-lookin’ hillbilly must be hung like a mule to snag America’s Sweetheart/Favorite Pretty Woman Prostitute!” But looking back, I guess it kind of made sense—he had the junk of a horse and she had the teeth of one.
I have since discovered that seemingly oil-and-water mashups can be downright delightful. Take, for instance, salty chocolate gelato or the Kogi Truck’s world-famous Korean tacos—as Paula Abdul sort of “sang” a very long time ago while dancing with an animated cat, “Opposites attract!”
Which brings us to what I really want to talk about: ME! Specifically, me and my weekly show at, of all places, The Abbey! Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “But Jackie, didn’t you used to make fun of The Abbey all the time? What gives? Did you just sell out for money? To conjure up yet another crappy Julia Roberts movie, are you Sleeping With The Enemy?” Yes, yes and YES! But let me explain…
First of all, I was wrong about The Abbey. As an old person who remembers not only Julia Roberts’ brief marriage to Lyle Lovett and when Paula Abdul was a pop star, but also when The Abbey was a charming place to get coffee and dessert, I was prejudiced. See, I am the type of bitter, formerly punk rock Eastsider that likes to mope around in that no-man’s land conveniently located right between Coolsville and Mount Mainstream. The moment something becomes too popular, I’m out. And not just out, but I will then begin to shamelessly and mercilessly belittle the formerly cool person or trend.
Julia Roberts in Mystic Pizza or Satisfaction? Love her! That same toothy Mr. Ed smile just begging for a handful of oats or a sugar cube in Erin Brockovich or Mirror Mirror? I wanna bitch-slap that Sea Biscuit smirk right off her equine face. And the same is true of The Abbey. When it was a cute, little unsuspecting place where we played Scrabble over steaming Sumatra and sugary scones while cruising hot guys, it was great. But the moment it got a makeover and became the pretty, popular girl, I immediately started throwing it attitude and using words like “douchebag” and “retarded.” So judgmental. I mean, whatever happened to tolerance? The sad fact is that being judgmental and intolerant bought me a house, so it’s hard for me not to go there.
So you can imagine my surprise when the fine folks at The Abbey approached me to do a weekly show there every Monday. And when they told me what it paid, my punk rock attitude went right out the window, along with my integrity and my holier-than-thou arrogance. Trust me, it’s tough to be punk when you have a mortgage to pay. Just ask the members of Green Day. (I’m sorry, but their Broadway musical American Idiot is about as punk as Martha Stewart. Actually, Martha is pretty punk rock now that I think about it. The bitch has been to prison! Let me rethink this and get back to you.)
The bottom line is this: Jackie Beat and The Abbey just works. The FREE show every Monday night is a total blast, and I have to say, the staff and management is damn classy. I have worked at places where getting a bottled water (I don’t drink booze and I sing live!) is like pulling teeth, but The Abbey gives me whatever I need—drink tickets, something to eat (the food is frickin’ good, people!) and creative control. I cannot believe I am saying this, but … I LOVE THE ABBEY!
So come on down some Monday night around 9 p.m. (It really starts a little later, because, well, it’s a drag show in WeHo, honey!) Get a good seat and order a delicious drink or maybe something to nosh on while enjoying the show. I have some amazing special guests joining me every Monday in April—Kate Flannery from NBC’s The Office, legendary vocal impressionist Jimmy James, hilarious homo Jonny “The Gay Pimp” McGovern of Logo’s Big Gay Sketch Show and my best gal pal Nadya Ginsburg, who will be ripping Madonna and Cher new ones with her hysterically scathing impersonations.
JACKIE BEAT’S MASCARA MONDAYS at THE ABBEY, 692 N. Robertson Blvd., WeHo. 9 p.m. FREE!