Unlike many newlyweds, comedian Mario Cantone isn’t afraid to kiss and tell… And sing, too.
The joys of marriage — Cantone wed his longtime partner, Broadway musical director Jerry Dixon, last year — are just one of the topics the Sex and the City alum will tackle at Hard Rock Live on Thursday, Oct. 11.
“Technically, we’re married, but we’ve been together 20 years,” Cantone explains. “Actually, I think (a marriage certificate) has given us separation anxiety. Does it feel different, yeah it does, it’s nice.”
But will Cantone and Dixon take the next step and adopt children like so many other gay couples?
“Emphatically, NO. You can type that in big capital letters,” he howls. “I talk about that in the show,” along with the latest developments in his career, reality television, pop culture, his family and life in general.
Oh, and he also is debuting a new opening number, another trademark “Liza” (Minnelli) song and plenty of musical numbers penned by Dixon, his “in-house composer.”
The show received rave reviews in Montreal, and Cantone is betting it will be a hit with American audiences, too.
“I really try to mix it up with twists on standards and lots of surprises. I can’t wait to get on stage. It’s the waiting before the show, like right now, that makes me nuts,” he explains. “AA — anxiety and anger — that’s what fuels the comedian. I definitely have to work to relax.”
Don’t mistake Cantone for a workaholic, either. Eight years have passed since his last one-man show. (He last appeared in South Florida in 2005.)
“I like my down time,” he says. “I’m basically lazy,” before discussing some of the projects that nearly came together, including a scrapped series set for NBC that would have paired him with former Miami Vice star Don Johnson.
While Cantone isn’t normally considered a “political” comedian, he can be outspoken, leading a fellow political comedian, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, to call him “the white Sammy Davis, Jr.” Cantone fired back that Stewart was “the white Dean Martin.”
As a young gay comedian in the 1980s, Cantone had an uphill battle, recalling nationally televised appearances that were cancelled because of his “sensibility.” But, he found the drive to succeed, as evidenced by his later successes.
“My success really came from being me and crossing over to the straight audience,” he says. “For some reason gay men don’t come out to see me.”
A recent benefit at the Castro Theatre in the heart of San Francisco’s gay community still drew a mixed crowd, but it was one of the greatest shows of his career.
“I’m lucky that straight audiences love what I do, although it’s not that I don’t have gay audiences. I get it, we (gays) like the women: Kathy, Judy, Madonna, Lady Gaga — well, I don’t love Lady Gaga, but they do.”
For more information, go to www.HardRockLiveHollywood.com.
If you go see Mario Cantone
Thursday, Oct. 11, 8 p.m.
Hard Rock Live
1 Seminole Way, Hollywood
Tickets $39-69 at www.HardRockLiveHollywood.com.