She's on her way to San Francisco, but singer-performer Varla Jean Merman, the rumored love child of Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman, takes a pause from her upcoming "World Tour" to present a one-night benefit for the Illyria Theatre Sept. 10 at Don't Tell Mama's.
Entitled The Miseducation of Varla Jean Merman, this cabaret evening revisits some of Varla's greatest hits. On the boards are her nightmare confinement in a Colt 45 bottle ("Varla Jeannie: Right Outta the Bottle"), an operatic medley of "Carmina Burana" and the disco hit "Burn, Baby, Burn" and the bitter, but smart "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Man."
Merman is the creation of Jeffrey T. Roberson, who has appeared on Broadway in Chicago and in cabaret opposite Betty Buckley singing excerpts from Carrie. He won a 1997 Bistro Award and a 1998 Mac Award.
Tickets are $15 with a two drink minimum. The performance begins at 6 PM. For reservation, call (212) 757-0788.
-- By Christine Ehren