Lypsinka Dearest – Interview by Randy Shulman – Interview by Randy Shulman

John Epperson, as icon Lypsinka, recreates Hollywood legend, Joan Crawford, at Studio Theatre

John Epperson’s favorite Joan Crawford film is Berserk.

The one with the ax?

”No,” he corrects the reporter gently, ”that one was called Straight Jacket. Berserk was the circus movie.”

There is a pause. A dramatic pause.

”The glamorous, color circus movie!”

To that end, Epperson’s having a special Berserk Room installed at the Studio Theatre. There, he’ll greet the audience following each performance of The Passion of the Crawford, in which Epperson as Lypsinka portrays Hollywood legend Joan Crawford. A 1973 recorded interview conducted with the star serves as his lip-syncing source material.

Anyone who’s seen the Mississippi-born Epperson perform as Lypsinka — he was last here as the fiery, manic diva in 2002 in Lypsinka! The Boxed Set — knows the wonder and magic he produces on stage. His lip-syncing abilities are transcendent, a dazzling blend of comedy, camp and dramatic flourishes. But for someone who has spent his career miming — with exacting, rapid-fire precision — to the music and words of others, Epperson is, during an interview situation, never at a loss for words of his own. To say he’s outspoken is an understatement.