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Not Just a Man in a Dress:
The Career of Christopher Peterson

Christopher Peterson is, without doubt, North America’s foremost female impersonator. His stature in the field is said to be equivalent to that of the legendary Jim Bailey—and Peterson still has years in which to expand his reputation.

His main vehicle is Eyecons, a show he developed in which he becomes a dozen or more famous women, He has been touring with Eyecons for over a decade.  (See article below about the evolution of the show.)

Most recently, he reprised his role as Bette Davis in Bitchslap at the Waterfront Playhouse in Key West. Bitchslap, by Darrin Hagen, is about the feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford during the filming of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and was brought back to the theatre for a second run by popular demand.

Born in Moncton, New Brunswick, he discovered a love for the theatre early in life and began developing his female characters while he worked on his theatrical career. In addition to appearances on BCTV (The Vancouver Show) and Global Television, he was featured on Fashion Television, The Shirley Show and as co-host of The Dini Petty Show with Dini Petty and as Dini Petty.

For three years, beginning in 1993, Christopher appeared at The Edmonton Fringe Festival in Guys in Disguise. He played the female lead in Canadian Stage’s production of Tom Stoppard’s Rough Crossing and workshopped the role of Robin Turner in Brad Fraser’s stage musical adaptation of the hit movie Outrageous.

His acting abilities were acknowledged when he won the Dora Award (Canada’s equivalent of the Tony) for his remarkable performance in Brad Fraser’s Poor Super Man.

Having proved his talents in Canada, Christopher moved to Los Angeles where he worked for a year with An Evening at La Cage. While in LA, he appeared on Truth or Consequences and Taste of LA Revue, as well as making a special appearance on Evening At The Improv.

Peterson appeared in the award-winning documentary We’re Funny That Way, which detailed the first gay and lesbian comedy festival in Canada and was later released on Showtime, Cinemax and HBO.  He also gained a great deal of attention when he was featured as “a Lucille Ball” in Rat Race, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Most of his attention in the last 10 years, however, has been on fine-tuning Eyecons. In Eyecons, Peterson’s art is astounding. Without resorting to any lip-synching, he creates a dozen or more of the world’s most astonishing ladies right before the eyes and ears of the audience in his one-man (many women) show.


The Evolution of Eyecons

Christopher developed his one man many women extravaganza, Eyecons, during a two year stint with the Canadian touring show The Impostors, and in 1996 had three successful runs of the show in Toronto: twice at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, followed by a three-week run at the Tarragon Theatre.

In 1997, Eyecons was nominated for a Dora Award for Outstanding New Musical, and Peterson received a Dora nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male

Eyecons has played The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and in the spring of 1999, toured throughout eastern Canada. 

In 2000, Eyecons was nominated for Desert Star Award for Best Overall Production of a Musical Revue by the Desert Theatre League, Palm Springs, California.

There is no lip-synching involved, and Christopher Peterson miraculously changes from one character to another right on stage with clever help from his backup dancers.  His comic timing is impeccable, and his singing is amazing.  Eyecons has topnotch production values with superb costumes and lighting.

Never static, Peterson is constantly introducing new characters and numbers to Eyecons, keeping it fresh and vibrant. Over the years, inspiring women he has played in Eyecons include Madonna, Lucille Ball, Bette Midler, Patsy Cline, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Joan Rivers, Shirley MacLaine, Dr. Ruth, Barbra Streisand, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Carol Channing, Liza Minnelli and Julie Andrews. You never know who will show up on Peterson's stage when you go to see Eyecons.

Timeline

While Christopher has starred in Eyecons for the past ten years, he has also performed in television, movies and various theatrical productions. Here are some of the highlights of Christopher’s career
2010 – Reprise Bette Davis in Bitchslap at Waterfront Playhouse, Key West, Florida
2010Divas!, Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University, Washington, DC
2010Hooray for Hollywood, Rehoboth Beach Theatre of the Arts, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
2009Las Vegas or Bust, debut at Rehoboth Beach Theatre of the Arts, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
2009 – Bette Davis in Bitchslap at Waterfront Playhouse, Key West, Florida
2008Divas!, Heartland Men’s Chorus, Folly Theater, Kansas City, Missouri
2007An Evening at La Cage, Northern Quest Casino, Spokane, Washington
2006 – Grand Marshall & Main Stage Host, Pride Celebration, Washington, DC
2004Appeared as Catherine Zeta Jones from Chicago, Stage for AIDS, National Arts Center, Ottawa, Canada
2003 – Soloist with Key West Pops Orchestra, Vincent Zito conducting, Tennessee Williams Theatre, Key West
2003Nancy Reagan & Judy Garland in Howard Crabtree's Whoop-Dee-Doo, produced by The Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center  Founders Society, performed at Waterfront Playhouse, Key West
2003 – Zaza from La Cage Aux Folles, Tribute to Jerry Herman, Annenberg Theater,  Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California
2002 – Miss Pickering/Liza Minnelli, My Own Private Oshawa, CTV Canada (also writer of additional material)
2001 – Deep Voiced Lucy, Rat Race, with Cuba Gooding, Jr.
2000 Eyecons nominated for Desert Star Award for Best Overall Production of a Musical Revue by the Desert Theatre League, Palm Springs, California
1999 - Eyecons tour, eastern Canada
1998 – Himself, We're Funny That Way (documentary of the 1997 festival)
1997We're Funny That Way, Canada's International Queer Comedy Festival, Toronto, the first gay and lesbian comedy festival in Canada
1997 Eyecons nominated for Dora Awards for Outstanding New Musical and Outstanding Performance by a Male
1996 Eyecons premiers, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Toronto, Canada
1995 – Matt in Brad Fraser's Poor Super Man, Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, Canada and Canadian Stage  in Toronto, Canada, won Dora Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Play.
1995 – Dancer, The Wharf Rat, Showtime, with Lou Diamond Phillips and Judge Reinhold
1994-96 – Toured Canada with The Imposters
1994Natasha Navratilova in Tom Stoppard's Rough Crossing, Canadian Stage, Toronto, Canada
1993-96Guys in Disguise, Edmonton International Fringe Festival, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
1993 – Brad/Marilyn, Season 1, Episode 14, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (Original air date May 17)
 
Additional Venues

Throughout this timeline, Christopher has also appeared at many venues multiple times, including:

  • La Te Da Resort, Crystal Showroom, Key West, Florida

  • Sands Casino, Atlantic City

  • Flamingo Casino, Las Vegas

  • MGM Grand, Las Vegas

  • Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, New York

  • Rehoboth Beach Theatre of the Arts, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
  • Club Hippo, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Freddie's Beach Bar & Restaurant, Arlington, Virginia
  • Club XS, York, Pennsylvania
  • Sands Hotel, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
  • Velvet Rope, York, Pennsylvania
  • Top Hat Playhouse, Palm Springs, California

 

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