Joined Weekly by Guest Hosts - Alexandra Billings, Mitchell Fain, Deb Pearce, Stephen Rader, Kelli Simpkins, and Colman Domingo
Originally from East Tennessee, Amy began her radio career as the "What's Happening?" gal of LesBiGay radio telling folks what not to miss in the community. Then one day she was called into the studio to chat live on the air and, after her quick witty banter, the rest is herstory. From 1998 - 2001 Amy was the lesbian host of LesBiGay Radio, Chicago's GLAAD media award-winning daily GLBT program on WSBC-AM Chicago. In 2001 when Windy City Media acquired LesBiGay Radio, she became the lesbian voice of Windy City Radio, The Voice of Chicago's GLBT community on WCKG 105.9FM and a Senior Account Manager for Windy City Media Group creating multi-media campaigns in the GLBT community for corporations such as Anheuser Busch, Future Brands, American Airlines, IBM, LaSalle Bank, Subaru, Broadway In Chicago and many major arts organizations. Currently she emcees numerous events around Chicago including Windy City Gay Idol.
From 2001-2003 she co-hosted Aware Talk Radio, the nationally syndicated Health and Well-Being program, and Life OUTside, the nationally syndicated half hour newsmagazine for the GLBT community. And over the past nine years in radio, she has interviewed over 4500 guests, entertainers, and politicians including Cyndi Lauper, Megan Mullally, Patti LaBelle, Margaret Cho, Eddie Izzard, Sharon Gless, Sandra Bernhard, Rep. Barney Frank, Senator Paul Simon, Martina Navritalova, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer, kd lang, and national organizations such as GLAAD, NGLTF, HRC, GLAD, GLMA and more.
Amy is an Artistic Associate at About Face Theatre, Chicago's award winning gay theatre company where she has appeared in WHITMAN, SEVEN MOVES, LATE: a cowboy song, FASCINATION, THE GIFT, and the cult hits XENA LIVE! Episode One and XENA LIVE! Episode Two: XENA LIVES! The Musical - both of which she conceived, produced and starred in as Gabrielle.
Amy continues to dabble in music and theatre, singing with Alexandra Billings in Duo-licious, Elaine Dame in Sweet Accord and performing recently at Chicago Shakespeare in MEASURE FOR MEASURE and at the Royal George (playing heterosexual quite convincingly) in the popular musical comedy in I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE.
A founding member of greasy joan & co., a classical text based theatre company, she produced over 13 productions garnering multiple Joseph Jefferson Theatre award nominations and acted in 11 of those same productions such as THERESE RAQUIN, PERICLES and IPHENGINIA AND OTHER DAUGHTERS.
Before Chicago, Amy was a resident company member of Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, trained at The Shakespeare Theatre in DC, and worked regionally at American Stage, Utah Musical Theatre, and Pennsylvania Centre Stage, in such shows as LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, INTO THE WOODS, OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD, and PUMPBOYS AND DINETTES. A graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Amy has a BA in Theatre and English Literature.
Alexandra Billings is an actress, singer, teacher, writer, blogger, activist, and former radio host. Alexandra co-hosted with Amy on LesBiGay Radio where they laughed a LOT and became good friends. They went on to star together in XENA LIVE: Episode One and XENA LIVE: Episode Two, Xena Lives! The Musical with About Face Theatre where they laughed a LOT more. Then they created a cabaret called Duo-licious performed at Speakeasy SupperClub where they laughed a LOT stopping only to sing. It's a theme in their work together.
Alex's extensive theatre work has taken her across Chicago to Los Angeles where she now lives with her partner Chrisanne. In LA, she starred in a stage adaptation of Felini’s IL BIDONE for The Bootleg Theater, played Fagin in the musical TWIST at The Avery Schreiber Theater , Princess Puffer in THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (Sacred Fools Theater), and Mrs. Pascal in THE HOUSE OF YES (The Complex). Her Chicago credits include: BERLIN CIRCLE, SPACE, TIME TO BURNT, and WAVING GOODBYE (Steppenwolf Theatre), COMEDY OF ERRORS, THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA, SUESSICAL, THE MUSICAL, and a two year run of HAMLET THE MUSICAL (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), SON OF FIRE, JUST SAY NO, DEATH DEFYING ACTS, and as Mama Rose in GYPSY (Bailiwick Theatre), A DUBLIN BLOOM (Victory Gardens), PIRATES OF PENZANCE (Light Opera Works), NORA (Court Theatre), GERTRUDE STEIN AND A COMPANION (Strawdog Theatre), THE ADVENTURE OF HERCULINA (Next Theatre), and her all time favorite role as Cruella DeVille in 101 DALMATIANS at Lifeline Theatre.
Alexandra's one-woman show BEFORE I DISAPPEAR has been presented from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles. Television and film credits include the new Ryan Murphy pilot PRETTY/HANDSOME (FX), GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC), E.R. (NBC), NURSES (Fox), ROMY AND MICHELLE: A NEW BEGINNING (ABC Family), KAREN SISCO (TBS), and the Independent horror film SOCKET. Alexandra shapes young minds and talents as the Viewpoints Associate at The Steppenwolf School where she teaches both in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Deb Pearce keeps the Windy City Queercast connected to the GLBT scene with our neighbors to the North. She’s Queer, Quick and anything but Quiet! Deb got her first job in radio years ago and took to it like a dyke to water! She has been entertaining and educating audiences all over North America as an emcee, a drag king and a comic. And she is also known to break out into song for no apparent reason!!!
Deb worked on-air as a co-host on the Big JACK morning show on 92.5 Jack FM in Toronto. When Toronto was launching their all gay radio station, Deb was a natural fit and she now hosts Mid-Day 10am-3pm on Proud FM Toronto Monday through Friday. if you are visiting Toronto and hanging out on Church Street in the Gayborhood, more than likely Deb is hosting some major Queer event.
Better than that, you can listen in to her live at proudfm.com
Some of the goals Deb has set for herself this year is to get her first tattoo, learn how to ride a motorcycle and go swimming with sharks! She'll keep you posted as to how that's coming along.
Deb’s infectious laugh and love of music will be a great addition to our Queercast famly. Plus she and Amy truly are the butch /femme version of the same person. A Queercast first for any podcast!
Stephen has received three After Dark Awards – the 1999 Outstanding Cabaret Performance Award, a 2000 Outstanding Performance Award for his work in Pegasus Player’s SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM and 2001 Outstanding Direction Award for CORPUS CHRISTI at Bailiwick Repertory.
Other directing credits include Ulysses Theatre’s THE NORMAL HEART, the 2001 production of HANS BRINKER for Theatre Building Chicago, Alanda Coon’s debut cabaret show I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW and Alexandra Billings’ live concert cd THE STORY GOES ON which also features his live recording of John Bacchino’s SWEET DREAMS.
Acting credits include Richard in TimeLine’s THE LION IN WINTER, The Soldier in Chicago Shakespeare’s SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, Henry in Visions and Voice’s ARRANGEMENT FOR TWO VIOLAS, and various roles in Philip Dawkin’s play UGLY BABY. His cabaret show DOLLY WOULD!: THE MUSIC OF DOLLY PARTON was recognized as the Best Cabaret Show of 2003.
Stephen most recently played Hector P. Valenti in LYLE, LYLE CROCODILE at Lifeline Theatre and last year, he was The Cat in the Hat in Emerald City’s SEUSSICAL. For Porchlight Music Theatre, he has played Michael in ELEGIES, Gordo in A NEW BRAIN, Whizzer in their 27-week run of FALSETTOS and Charley in MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, for which he received a Jeff Nomination for Best Actor.
Stephen made his Goodman Theatre debut in Adam Guettel’s Tony Award Winning musical THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA. Check out his blog at stephenrader.blogspot.com.
Kelli Simpkins, Amy Matheny’s partner, is thrilled to occasionally put her two cents worth into the Queercast. She promises to be funny (hopefully), honest, heart-felt and to keep Amy on her toes and on topic. But expect no musical theatre references, singing or any knowledge of the great icons, such as Judy’s sign or favorite color or which pills helped her sleep. Kelli is a member of Tectonic Theatre Project and one of the original creators/performers of THE LARAMIE PROJECT, directed by Moises Kaufman. She performed her Laramie roles Off-Broadway, at Denver Center, Berkeley Rep. and LaJolla Playhouse and in Laramie, WY. She is also one of the Emmy-nominated writers for HBO’s film of THE LARAMIE PROJECT, in which she also performed.
Kelli played transgender artist, Daphne Scholinski, author of The Last Time I Wore a Dress, in Leigh Fondakowski’s verbatim theatre piece about growing up lesbian called I THINK I LIKE GIRLS. The play was voted one of the top 10 plays of 2002 by The Advocate. Kelli’s work often represents GLBTQ themes and characters: EXECUTION OF JUSTICE for About Face Theatre, directed by Gary Griffin; the world premiere of GOOD BOYS AND TRUE at Steppenwolf written by openly gay, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; and ONE ARM, a Moises Kaufman translation of Tennessee Williams’ short story, at Steppenwolf.
She is a dramaturge/actor of THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE, a play about the mass-murder/suicides of Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, which premiered at Berkeley Rep. and played at Perseverance in Alaska and The Guthrie. She is currently working on CASA CUSHMAN, a play about the lesbian Victorian actress, Charlotte Cushman.
A native of Evansville, Indiana, Kelli lived in NYC for 15 years before moving to Chicago to live with Amy 2 years ago. They have one child
together: the beautiful Nilla, a chow, golden, collie mix. She is a certified teacher of “moment work,” the technique Tectonic utilizes to
create its plays.
Colman Domingo keeps us connected with New York City. He is currently making his Broadway debut in the critically acclaimed rock musical PASSING STRANGE as “Mr. Franklin The Reverend’s Piano Banging Son and Mr. Venus of Berlin.” The New York Times called his performance “Priceless”. Newsday said he is “outlandishly gifted.” Colman is also a series regular on the LOGO/MTV Networks series THE BIG GAY SKETCH SHOW produced by Rosie O’Donnell, portraying hilarious iconic characters Maya Angelou, Morgan Freeman, Oprah Winfrey and more.
He recently worked with Spike Lee on the film, MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA. He starred in the film, KING OF THE BINGO GAME, an adaptation of a Ralph Ellison story for PBS, starred with Eric Mabius (UGLY BETTY and THE L WORD), Tara Reid and Devon Sawa in AROUND THE FIRE and has had supporting roles in FREEDOMLAND with Julianne Moore and TRUE CRIME directed by Clint Eastwood.
A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Colman has thrived in the theater working at world renowned institutions such as The Public Theater, The Guthrie, American Conservatory Theater, The Huntington Theater, Berkeley Rep, Sundance Institute, The O’Neill, and California Shakespeare Theater.