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Randy Rainbow Returns to Ridgefield

By Dawn Ennis
 
He’s back, bitches!
Political satirist and YouTube personality Randy Rainbow returns to Connecticut June 13 and 14 at the landmark Ridgefield Playhouse, entertaining audiences with live musical parodies and classic clips of his viral videos.
Although he’s a familiar face to millions who watch him online,
Rainbow, 37, considers himself first and foremost a musical theater queen who always wanted to be a star. And that, he says, is in large part
because of how he was raised. He’s back, bitches!
Political satirist and YouTube personality Randy Rainbow returns to Connecticut June 13 and 14 at the landmark Ridgefield Playhouse, entertaining audiences with live musical parodies and classic clips of his viral videos.
Although he’s a familiar face to millions who watch him online,
Rainbow, 37, considers himself first and foremost a musical theater queen who always wanted to be a star. And that, he says, is in large part
because of how he was raised.
“I come from musical people. Everyone’s a musician or a comedian,” says Rainbow, whose father was also a talent booker. “My mother would put me to sleep with cast albums like ‘The Music Man’ or ‘Oklahoma.’ It was really just kind of in my blood from birth. That was my original dream – to land on Broadway.”
In high school, bullies taunted “the gay child-nerd” until he joined the drama club and starred in all the musicals. “Kids thought I was cool all of a sudden. And that was my saving grace,” Rainbow recalls.
Born on Long Island and raised in Broward County, Fla., he dropped out of college in his 20s and moved to New York City, but his Broadway dreams soon seemed out of reach. Rainbow waited tables at restaurants, hosted at Hooters, and answered phones for a Broadway producer. He started a blog to develop his own comedic voice, then a decade ago began cranking out homemade videos.
His breakout viral hit was his 2010 video, “Randy Rainbow is Dating Mel Gibson” which featured leaked snippets of an abusive telephone conversation the actor had with a girlfriend, intercut with Rainbow talking into the phone. He hit the big time in 2016, with his “Braggadocious!” video, mixing a presidential debate with a twist on one of the original Mary Poppins classic showtunes. It garnered nearly 28 million views in just two days. More recently, in April he released his “Cruella DeVos” spoof of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Ten years later, he still works alone, writing, acting, singing, recording and editing each video, all in about 48 hours, from inside his studio apartment a few subway stops away from Manhattan, where he lives with his cat, Moshi.
Connecticut Voice: Millions of people know your name – which I read is indeed your real name, and I’ll bet you get asked that A LOT?
Randy Rainbow: Number one question!
CV: You say even went so far as to show a reporter your actual birth certificate. It clearly states your name is Randy Stewart Rainbow. 
RR: Yes, that is the name on my birth certificate. It sounds like the hokiest, worst stage name that you can imagine. But if I were to pick one, it would not have been that. My whole father’s side, my great-grandparents and beyond, are Rainbows.
CV: You’ve said it was your grandmother who was your inspiration. How did she inspire you? 
RR: My grandmother saw me succeeding even before I did. She believed in me, nurtured and loved me. It is her belief in me that makes her my inspiration.
CV: What was it like growing up in Plantation, Florida, before and after you came out? 
RR: I grew up in a gay-friendly community in Florida with a supportive mother so I had it easier than most.
CV: Your mother told you she knew you were gay, even before you came out to her. And it was your mom who introduced you to musical theater, too. How much did that all that support mean to you as a young man?
RR: My mother made it so easy, didn’t she? That is one of the many reasons I love her so much. I grew up feeling supported by both my mother and grandmother. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have little or no support. Sadly, I know it exists. We all know those who did not have that advantage and, although it is very sad, I see that is probably why the LBGTQ+ is one of the most connected communities out there. We just need to continue to support one another and stand up for each other.
CV: What’s your favorite musical of all time – and are its songs something you randomly hum or sing along to, more than any other?
RR: “The Sound of Music,” and I find myself humming, “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?” And the Maria is me! [This classic showtune inspired Rainbow’s video “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Korea?” After “Braggadocious!,” his most viewed viral video is “Desperate Cheeto,” a take on Justin Bieber’s “Despacito,” followed closely by his Gilbert and Sullivan spoof, “A Very Stable Genius” – each of those two parodies has been seen by YouTube users more than two million times.]
CV: Of all your videos, do you have a favorite?
RR: I imagine they are like having children; how can you pick just one?
CV: This tour stop at the Ridgefield Playhouse in June is your second trip to this landmark theater. Your home base is somewhere in New York City, but have you spent any time in Connecticut, and maybe thought about moving here? 
RR: I actually live in Queens and I think Connecticut is lovely. I think everyone that visits Connecticut fantasizes about moving there.
CV: Are you dating anyone and would you consider dating someone who lived as far away from Queens as Connecticut? 
RR: I am completely open minded when it comes to dating.
CV: You’ve said that starring on Broadway remains a goal, but there was chatter on Twitter and even an online petition earlier this year, demanding that you should host an awards show, like the Academy Awards. If you had to choose between being on stage and being on television, which one would you choose? 
RR: I love the theater – that will always be my first love – but I see people that do theater and are also on television and film. I hope I am one of the lucky ones that get to experience all three!

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