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Christina Crawford (#110 of 2)

Lypsinka Speaks: Interview with a Surrealist

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Lypsinka Speaks: Interview with a Surrealist
Lypsinka Speaks: Interview with a Surrealist

You don’t easily forget Lypsinka—those eyes, the hands, and the rubbery lips that give new life and meaning to the mashed-together snatches of songs, dialogue, or just screams, previously voiced by other larger-than-life divas. The man behind this fabulous creature is John Epperson. “I’ve been called so many things over the years, none of them that I really like,” he says. “Drag queen is offensive to me, and performance artist is kind of ’1980s nonprofit’—and I need to make living at this! So I call myself a ’surrealist,’ which is, I think, the same word that people use to describe Barry Humphries, who plays Dame Edna.” Over lunch at his favorite Italian bistro in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, the tall, diffident, Mississippi-born performer spoke about the genesis of his mute but oh-so-expressive alter ego, and about Lypsinka! The Trilogy, currently playing in repertory through January 3 at East Village’s Connelly Theater.