Varla Jean Merman

What if Ethel Merman and Ernest Borgnine conceived a love child during their short-lived relationship? Apparently, the bastard would have grown up to be a fiery-haired drag queen with a knack for tawdry sexual innuendos. Varla Jean Merman (Jeffery Roberson) incorporates her celebrity pseudo-parents’ comedic timing and sassy vocals in her cabaret act—plus a bizarre trademark move in which she consumes an entire can of Cheez Whiz mid-warble. Inspired by her overseas travels, Merman’s latest show, Varla Jean Merman Loves a Foreign Tongue, provides a biting lampoon of American xenophobia. This cheese-guzzling ginger reaffirms that there really is no business like show business. Mama Merman would be proud. Re-Bar, 1114 Howell St., 233-9873, $25. 21 and over. 8 p.m. Fri., April 11-Sat., April 12. ERIKA HOBART

Fri., April 11, 8 p.m.; Sat., April 12, 8 p.m., 2008

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