Cabaret artist Tori Scott has been called “the Bette Midler of the new millennium,” but she’s not letting it go to her head.
“I’ve told people I’m going to put that on my grave,” Scott said from a New York airport, waiting for a flight to New York City. She’s bringing her new one-woman act, “Vodka is the Reason for the Season,” to the Broward Center this weekend to kick off the holidays.
But what would the divine Miss M. think about that?
“I would hope she would love the fact she influenced a whole new generation of performers,” Scott said. “They always say you should never meet your heroes, but I’d definitely like to meet her.”
Like Midler during her “Bathhouse Betty” days, Scott cultivated a gay male following early in her career.
“I like to say I was raised by gay men. I got my start in community theater,” she pointed out. “I’m kind of like their girlfriend on stage. I try for a fun, relatable vibe and I can be a bit naughty about things.”
Her Christmas show is certainly not for children. Scott promised plenty of funny holiday stories and some Christmas songs, but not necessarily the ones audiences might expect. She fine-tuned the show over the years in New York City at Joe’s Pub and acknowledges that the holiday season is simply not easy for many people to endure.
Scott still gets giddy as she recalls that bear cruise that earned her bona fide LGBT creds. She’s never performed in South Florida, but knows there are plenty of “cruise ships out there.” On her last trip, she did a little reconnaissance in the gayborhood, Wilton Manors.
“Not to limit the people I perform for, but performing for gay men is such a treat. They get so excited and show you they enjoy what they are watching, and I really need the positive reinforcement, I guess,” Scott said.
As for that vodka she references in her show title, Scott hedges her bets: Tom of Finland vodka—yes, that Tom of Finland—sponsors her shows in Europe. She loves the iconic Touko Laaksonen illustrations on the label and isn’t afraid to throw out a “shameless” plug. Unfortunately, it isn’t available in the U.S.
But, like many of her gay fans, she’s perfectly happy with Tito’s, too.
“I’m usually a Tito’s girl…a dry Tito’s martini, just a little dirty,” she admitted, just like her show.
Tori Scott appears in “Vodka is the Reason for the Season” at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $35 at BrowardCenter.org.