September 11, 2006

Murray Hill on the Lower East Side

Filed under: Clubs,Comedy,Listings,Press Releases — offoffbway @ 10:12 pm

Drag Kings don’t get the kind of attention that Drag Queens get, so you’ve got to admire Murray Hill. S/he has been knocking around for a loooong time, with sold out live shows that played all over New York and even (in 2005) in London. Hell, s/he even ran for mayor of NYC in 1997 (and lost, but got 341 write-in votes – and probably without spending Bloomberg-type money).
The latest show is at Mo Pitkin’s, which is where the last show was. Drink specials, Rheingold beer, cheeseburgers – what could be bad? Starts September 22, full info below.







* EVERY FRIDAY & SATURDAY: 8 p.m. & 10 p.m., $18 admission

* AT MO PITKINS (34 Avenue A, betw. 2nd & 3rd Sts.)

NEW YORK CITY — King of comedy and legendary Big Apple icon, MURRAY HILL, aka “the hardest working middle-aged man in show business,” is pleased to announce his new comedy show: MURRAY HILL LIVE FROM THE SANSABELT ROOM, which will run 10 WEEKS ONLY at MO PITKINS. Performances begin September 22 at 8 & 10 p.m.

After the yearlong, completely sold-out run of THE MURRAY HILL SHOW at Mo Pitkins that attracted diverse crowds—including Cyndi Lauper, Alan Cumming, Steven Soderbergh, Moby, bachelorette parties, Internet daters, and porn stars like Nina Hartley—Mo Pitkins anointed MURRAY HILL as THE IN-HOUSE ENTERTAINMENT AMBASSADOR and gave him HIS OWN ROOM!

After a long hot summer spent honing his new show in the Catskill Mountains, Murray is back, with his trademark blend of Borscht Belt humor, physical comedy, so-bad-it’s-gotta-be-good crooning, impersonations, and off-the-cuff audience interaction—think Catskills camp with a postmodern twist. It’s a mix of old-fashioned highball class with contemporary humor and Hill-arious improv.


Long before Comedy Central, there was the Borscht Belt, in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Comedians from Woody Allen to Rodney Dangerfield to Mel Brooks got their starts on the stages of the area’s many summer resorts. LIVE FROM THE SANSABELT ROOM is a brand-new show, an intimate evening in classic Borscht Belt style. Murray will debut new songs and regale the audience with tales from his early showbiz days—getting discovered by Don Rickles while bussing tables at the Atlantic City IHOP; working for his pops, the famed Toots Shor; his failed mayoral campaign against Giuliani; his triangle playing past; his fifth comeback; and, of course, the ladies (like his ex-wife, who left him for Regis Philbin).

Although part of the evening will be “scripted,” the second Murray gets onstage, anything can happen, giving the show a spontaneous, thrilling edge. Murray has the uncanny ability to get an audience to be participants in the fun. A natural entertainer, Hill’s down-to-earth approach has made him the darling of downtown entertainment with consistently sold-out shows for a decade.

LIVE FROM THE SANSABELT ROOM will feature LANCE CRUCE, Joan Rivers’s and Murray’s longtime piano player, tickling the ivories, and Murray’s Hollywood wife and burlesque legend DIRTY MARTINI fanning the fans with her fans. Murray and Dirty will sing their first-ever duet and perform a dance number. And like his other shows, expect celebrity drop-in guests and visits from his other showbiz pals.


Sansabelts were invented in 1956, around the time of Murray’s second big break. Through a miracle of engineering, Sansabelts stay in place sans a belt. The secret is the waistband, which features three bands of elastic webbing, creating a girdle-like zone allowing free movement without the constraint of a belt. Sansabelts are ideal—perma-seam, wrinkle-free guarantee, and most important, the expandable waistband that fits Murray no matter how many cheeseburgers or Rheingolds. Murray considers himself Sansabelts’s unofficial spokesman, their man on the street. Murray’s secret to looking so good after all these years? Sansabelts—the only pants that can stay on the hardest-working middle-aged man in showbiz.


In honor of Murray’s new one-man show—which diverges from recent variety lineups—Mo’s converted its downstairs dining room into a Borscht Belt–style showroom complete with leather banquettes. It also created a full menu befitting a supper club, featuring the MURRAY HILL SPECIAL: cheeseburger, fries and a Rheingold for only $12.00. Drink specials like “The Dirty Martini” and “Stiff Gimlet” will tip the glass to longtime Murray Hill collaborators.

MURRAY HILL LIVE FROM THE SANSABELT ROOM at MO PITKINS (34 Avenue A, between 2nd & 3rd Sts.) 10 WEEKS ONLY every FRIDAY & SATURDAY nights at 8 & 10 p.m. from SEPTEMBER 22 – NOVEMBER 25, 2006. Admission: $18.00. Advance tickets: Key Words: Murray Hill. For group (5 or more) reservations call: (212) 777-5660. More information:,

MURRAY HILL LIVE FROM THE SANSABELT ROOM was written and created by MURRAY HILL with special material by Julie Goldman & Carmine Covelli, and choreographed by Dirty Martini.


MURRAY HILL, “Mr. Showbiz,” tirelessly performs in shows, theater, celebrity benefits, independent films, TV and comedy clubs in his native New York and all over the world. His long-running and smash-hit THE MURRAY HILL SHOW, “a New York institution” (NY Times), just finished a 10-month SRO run at Mo Pitkins. He recently hosted a show with Antony & The Johnsons and was a guest star in Jonathan Ames & Moby Show TV pilot.

He has produced, written, and starred in a string of sold-out theatrical runs, including his infamous holiday show A MURRAY LITTLE CHRISTMAS, THE MURRAY HILL SHOW, MURRAY HILL CAUGHT IN THE ACT and performed his unique brand of interactive comedy at Madison Square Garden, Gotham Comedy Club and headlined his own show MURRAY HILL ON BROADWAY at the legendary CAROLINES on Broadway. In the Summer of 2005, Murray made his UK debut in the West End for a four-week run and this past winter he was in Montreal for a weeklong run at the Just For Laughs theater. He wowed audiences for three weeks at San Francisco’s famed Plush Room. He also produces several big events throughout the year like music and comedy showcases, and the legendary MISS LEZ PAGEANT.

Murray “the king of comedy” Hill is one of the most sought after emcees working today. He’s razzled audiences into a frenzy and hosted thousands of shows and events such as: The NYC Burlesque Festival; LeTigre concerts at Irving Plaza, Bowery Ballroom, The Fillmore in SF, and the El Rey in LA; Village Voice’s Siren Music Festival, Seattle Comedy Showcase, The Gossip, Philly Fringe Festival, Lady Fest, New Year’s Eve at Joe’s Pub with John Cameron Mitchell, and he was honored to co-host a portion of Wigstock for two years in a row with Lady Bunny. He has made cameos is LeTigre and Scissor Sisters music videos, and John Cameron Mitchell’s new film Shortbus.

Recently hailed as “reigning patriarch of downtown performance” by The New York Times, Murray has been featured in books, magazines, newspapers, websites, radio shows and several documentaries. He was awarded top performer of the year in 2004 in Out Magazine and “Best of New York” by Village Voice, Paper Magazine, and New York Magazine. In 1997, Murray ran for Mayor of New York. He lost, but did garner 341 write-in votes (no joke). He’s currently developing a TV show based on his act.

DIRTY MARTINI, Miss Exotic World 2004, has been described as “one of the best in burlesque” by the New York Times, “the queen of them all” by the London Telegraph, and “the decadent expression of female sensuality in action” by the Daily News. She has won the Sally Rand Fan Dance Award, Jennie Lee award for her tassel twirling skills, first runner up in the Miss Exotic World Pageant before winning the title in the following year and a Golden Pastie at the New York Burlesque Festival. Since the mid 1990’s she has appeared in diverse New York venues such as Carnegie Hall, Happy Valley, The Museum of Sex and notorious gay leather bar The Eagle as well as teasing and hosting shows in New York burlesque venues such as The VaVaVoom Room, Le Scandal, The Slipper Room, Starshine Burlesque and Coney Island’s Burlesque at the Beach. She has a regular and favorite in The Murray Hill Show for years. Miss Martini has been acknowledged in the drag community as winner of two drag competitions and a Glammy. She appears in three recent books on New Burlesque and is featured in a new burlesque review currently being broadcast on Comcast Cable. In the Fall, look for her in Bust Magazine and her very glamorous little cameo in John Cameron Mitchell’s new movie “Shortbus”.

LANCE CRUCE is the go-to piano player for the downtown set, the glamorous showbiz broads, and Murray Hill. He’s accompanied Murray for a decade and his liver is still intact to tell about it. For four years and going, Lance plays for Joan Rivers comedy shows in NYC. He’s also worked with Holly Woodlawn, Ann Magnuson, Karen Finley and is a founding member of People Lution–an all-male singing group, a cross between Up-With-People, Gay Men’s Chorus, and cheerleaders.

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