After recent star turns on Failed Intervention and Semi-Celebrity Rehab, Varla Jean Merman has bottomed out. With nowhere to go but up, everyone's favorite deluded diva sets her sights on the ultimate challenge: topping herself! Submitting to her star power, can Varla's legion of fans take bigger wigs, bottomless talent, throatier singing, and lower standards? Snatch up your tickets now to see if Varla can give as well as she takes. Varla Jean Merman in Topping Myself featuring Gerald Goode at the piano runs June 29th - Sept 1st at The Art House in Provincetown. For tickets, visit www.ptownarthouse.com.
2010 Elliot Norton Award Winner, Roberson’s Varla Jean Merman has been featured on television as a guest on TV’s Ugly Betty and on Bravo’s Project Runway Season 5 as the winning model for the show’s drag challenge.
Other TV credits include his network television debut on All My Children in the recurring role of lady of the evening Rosemary Chicken, HBO’s Dragtime, E!’s Fashion Emergency, E! Goes to Cannes, MTV’s True Life: Mardi Gras, Francesca Page with Rossy DePalma, and has most recently appeared as Varla Jean on Logo starring in shorts for “Drag History Month.”
He shared the Outfest Film Festival “Best Actor” Award and the Aspen HBO Film Festival “Best Actress” Award with his costars Jack Poltnick and Clinton Leupp for his featured performance in the cult classic film Girls Will Be Girls (Sundance 2003) directed by Richard Day. This past January he filmed the sequel entitled Girls Will Be Girls 2012. Varla (aka Jeffery Roberson) starred opposite Leslie Jordan last spring at the Little Shubert Theatre. He also played the role of Mary Sunshine in the revival of Chicago on Broadway and appeared at the Long Wharf Theatre in Hartford Stage’s production of The Mystery of Irma Vep directed by Michael Wilson performing the roles originally made famous by Charles Ludlam.
Jeffery as Varla Jean has filled concert halls and cabarets across the world including the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Public Theater, London’s Soho Theatre, LA’s Renberg Theatre, and San Francisco’s Victoria Theatre. He was the opening act of Vienna’s LifeBall, the largest fundraiser for AIDS research in Europe, where he shared the stage with Sharon Stone and Catherine Deneuve. His many Fraktured Classiks productions in New York include The Mailman Always Comes Twice, Screen Door and CAGED! with Lily Tomlin, Joan Rivers and Isabella Rossellini, Lypsinka is Harriet Craig, The Miracle Worker (with Charles Busch) and Varla Jean Merman is The Bad Seedling. Recent engagements also include the title role in Auntie Mame, Scrooge in Rouge, Ricky Graham’s production of Irma Vep at Southern Rep/Le Chat Noir.
His recent solo show Varla Jean’s The Loose Chanteuse featuring Tom Judson, which ran in Provincetown, LA, New York and New Orleans, and last summer’s The Book of Merman sold out its summer run. Jeffery opened The Art House’s season this summer as the title role in Gian Carlo Menotti’s musical The Medium, which is slated to transfer to the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theatre in New York for a limited engagement in the fall.