The Life and Death of Kenyon Phillips Blends Sex, Circus and Rock n’ Roll

[New York, NY] – Showman Kenyon Phillips, known for his inventive blend of orchestral rock, variety show theatrics and exuberant sexuality, resurrects his autobiographical rock opera The Life and Death of Kenyon Phillips this month at Webster Hall. An evening length spectacle directed and choreographed by Tony winner Cady Huffman (The Producers), The Life and Death of Kenyon Phillips will make ample use of Broadway stars, circus performers, stripping ballerinas, television personalities, drag queens, and Phillips’s all-girl band, The Ladies In Waiting, to explore the past, present and precarious future of the titular performer Wednesday, August 19 at 8:00pm in the grand ballroom of Webster Hall.

Following a series of sold-out performances at Joe’s Pub and The Box over the past several months, this one-night-only engagement in one of the city’s most notable entertainment venues will feature two-time Tony nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent), television personality Michael Musto, and a panoply of shining stars from what’s left of the New York City underground to tell a tragicomic tale of truth without apology that everyone can relate to.

Beloved New York City drag performer and comedian Marti Gould Cummings is the latest celebrity to join the cast as rehearsals wrap up for the fourth iteration of Life and Death. Other cast members include actors Brad Calcaterra, Justin Sams and Chris Comfort; burlesque performer Aurora Black; juggler and acrobat Kelsey Strauch; contortionist Paul Zucker; ballerinas Dorrie Garland and Kimberly Giannelli; martial arts expert Osondu Thambo; aerialist Juanita Cardenas; and tightrope walker Michael Rosman.

Under the musical direction of Eric Miranda (Counting Crows, Ryan Adams), Phillips’s all-girl backing band The Ladies In Waiting is comprised of pianist and vocalist Mackenzie Shivers, drummer Nikkie McLeod, bassist Yuka Tadano, violinist Adriana Molello, and viola player Sarah Haines.

A Felliniesque merging of sex, circus and rock n’ roll, The Life and Death of Kenyon Phillips showcases a candid bravery, a contagious charm and a titillating confusion of fantasy, reality and nightmare.

“When your life is a circus, you might as well be the ringmaster,” laughs Kenyon.

“But beneath all the sex and the spectacle, this piece is about showing the world your truth without fear or regret. My hope is that everyone who sees the show will be inspired to take their own skeletons out of the closet and dance with them.”


Dubbed “the new King of New York” by The Huffington Post and “the love child of Luther Vandross and Steven Tyler” by pop culture commentator Michael Musto, Kenyon Phillips knows how to put on a show.

In addition to founding and fronting the bands Roma!, Unisex Salon and Thrill A Minute, Kenyon has written and produced songs for comedienne Amy Poehler and international drag performer Joey Arias; moonlighted as emcee of notorious vaudeville nightclub The Box; performed with renowned “punk ballerina” and choreographer Karole Armitage; appeared as a silhouetted dancer in multiple campaigns for the Apple iPod; DJ’d for runway shows at MILK Studios; and acted in a number of indie films, most recently Fall To Rise with Daphne Rubin-Vega.

His songs have been featured on several network and cable television programs, including “Shameless” on Showtime, “Eleventh Hour” on CBS, and “The Mighty B!” on Nickelodeon. His debut solo EP Fire In The Hole was released in September 2013, and was helmed by multi-platinum award-winning producer, mixer and songwriter David Bendeth (Paramore, Papa Roach, Breaking Benjamin, Cowboy Junkies). Kenyon is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University.


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