My Gay Toronto - MGT Stage

Sharron Matthews and
Gavin Crawford are Vicious Bitches

by Drew Rowsome

In the grand tradition of Hope and Crosby, Martin and Lewis, Sonny and Cher, Jay-Z and Beyonce (and Solange), and the madcap Ford brothers, comedian Gavin Crawford and songstress Sharron Matthews are combining their formidable talents and skill sets to create a magnificent monster mash-up: Vicious Bitches. There will be comedy, songs, duets, sketches and a complete evisceration of our nation's cultural institutions and pop culture in general. The first question that comes to mind is: Is there a spotlight big enough?

Several other questions followed and the Vicious Bitches, individually, agreed to answer them.

Is your Brangelina name Sharvin or Gavron? Or are those too Lord of the Rings-y so you're going with something totally different?

Sharron Matthews: Well, it seems to be that Gavin is calling me "Shazzy May." I always like a nickname as long as it is not a gross or terrible one that I have been given that no one says to my face, really, I'd rather not know. And I call Gavin: Gavin. Huh. I am going to try Elizabeth. I have no idea why it just has a good ring to it. And as for uniting our names in a mash-up: I feel that there is always enough room on a marquee for our full names. If we had enough class and fanciness to have a marquee, that is.

Gavin Crawford: I’m a huge geek so I’m cool with anything elven sounding but as a pair I would like to be known officially as DickTits. “Oh yes, here comes Dicktits!"

It does seem like a perfect, if mildly perverse, fit, for the two of you to share a stage. How did this team-up come about and how difficult were the negotiations?

SM: Gavin and I were drinking after (read: during) a benefit we were both performing at.Gavin says, "We should do something together to make money." Sharron says, "Make money? Count me in."

GC: I was complaining that I didn’t want to do a solo show this Pride to Sharron who said “Yeah me neither.” Then we sort of looked at each other and realized, wait a second: what we Reece’s peanut butter cupped it and actually worked together? Which was cool, until I saw the rider. I mean, a two litre water bottle with a skittles diffusion backstage? Come on.

You've achieved a huge level of fame and credibility in the entertainment world. Does this situation not seem a little All About Eve-esque to you?

SM: I have!?!? This question must have been meant for Gavin. And as for All About Eve, yes. Yes Bitch! He better hang onto his jockstrap. He may find broken glass in it. Or Nair. Or a small dog.

GC: I have always wanted to be Sharron Mathews, and now finally I can. Next up: steal that husband with the pretty eyes.

"Vicious Bitches" is self-explanatory but which of you is the bitchier and why? Who is more vicious?

SM: Oh lord. I am always pretty scared of offending people . . . unless they are huge stars who would never read my blog and then who truly gives a fuck: Streep can take it. I believe that we bring out each other's inner bitchier bitch. I think I am bitchier . . . in my head . . . in the silence . . . in the quiet. A quiet, scheming Vicious Bitch. Who,  you ask, is more vicious? Well, I guess if you buy a fricken ticket we will all find out.

GC: I think I’m bitchier because I haven’t really learned to filter myself in public. Please, that production of Cabaret at Shaw is GOD AWFUL! But Sharron is probably more vicious when the mic's are off, mostly about me.

What have you learned from your co-star? What do you admire about their performances?

SM: Gavin Elizabeth Crawford (not bad) has taught me that I will never be ready enough to do this show. It is really going to be in the moment. Lord and Taylor. I also learned that there are no bad ideas, just ideas you put out there and then there is silence . . . and then it is overlooked. Gavin is a genius (don't fucking tell him I said that).

GC: Sharron is a master at list making and being organized and she is relentless with PR. She’s also unbelievably great at working a crowd, she can have the fiercest hater eating out of her stupid singing hands.

What has your co-star learned from you?

SM: Gavin Elizabeth Crawford learned that there is no limit to the number of emails he can get a cc on. And that there is never enough time for self promotion and social media. And that there is a bird calling app on the IPhone (that was really from my husband).

GC: How to imitate Bernadette Peters. And I’m teaching her to pee standing up.

What is your co-star's most annoying dressing room or rehearsal habit?

SM: Gosh. Well, we have not yet shared a dressing room so there is still a huge potential for horror and annoyance to come. And rehearsal habits? Gavin Elizabeth Crawford likes to keep creating in rehearsal, which to some artists (read: all)  may sound like a positive. But for a Virgo like me, it is fucking terrifying. I mean, Jesus, figure it out Elizabeth.

GC: Sharron starts at the beginning again every time we make a change. I think it’s a passive aggressive way to get me to stop changing stuff.

How much of your co-star's previous material are you allowing them to recycle into Vicious Bitches?

SM: We started out saying "All old material" and ended up saying "Almost no old material." Which is fucking scary as shit. But don't worry Gavin fans: there are some of his tried and true faves. We would not want you to be all, "Gross! New stuff!?! Just do the old hits, it is WorldPride. I just wanna drink and laugh and be sexy, not watch them figure out new material. Fuck. I am going to text in the corner, those two bitches will never see the telltale text light on my face while they are working their asses off onstage . . .”

Which of you will go the furthest for a laugh? How far is too far?

SM: Um, I think that I will try not to show my boobs for a laugh. But Gavin says that it is WorldPride so I should show my boobs.

GC: That's a hard call, Probably me. I’m more of a laugh whore. Sharron is an artist, but I think I can still get her to take her top off at least once.

What is your favourite moment in the Vicious Bitches repertoire and why?

SM: That is so hard to answer because everything is top drawer. I mean, it will be after we rehearse it, slash it, rework it, throw it away, fish it out of the garbage, smooth it out, dust off the cigarette ashes and try it again. It will be. There are many musical parodies, many musical theatre songs but the Grindr song makes me laugh. It is so smart - Gavin wrote it so I am not calling myself smart. And chairs where we sit and cut the shit out of everyone and ask the audience to chime in until it is too much and then we cut them off like true vicious bitches.

GC: Currently It’s something involving Elaine Stritch because Sharron has great stories and I have Elaine Stritch legs.

What do you perceive to be your co-star's favourite moment in the Vicious Bitches repertoire and why?

SM: Oh my. I think he will, huh, I think he will like the Baby Bjorn sketch the best but I don't know. I really don't know. Maybe he enjoys that he gets to dress up like Elaine Stritch. Oh, all the musical theatre songs! Elizabeth does love a musical theatre song.

GC: I think Sharron likes the parts when I’m not on stage. But we’re working on that.

Who is the top in this relationship?

SM: As I just figured out what that meant recently. I know, eff you guys. I think we both top. And then top from the bottom on different occasions.Thank god I read that Fifty Shades of Grey that all the soccer moms love. I learned so much.

GC: It’s Canadian Entertainment We’re both extremely vers.

Both Vicious Bitches are in wildly successful long-term relationships with extraordinarily attractive men. What draws your co-star's partner to them, or, what diabolical hold does your co-star have over them?

SM: They are both amazingly attractive, it is agreed. I think it might be Gavin's ability to speak in an accent for hours: relentlessly. Seriously, Gavin is talented, witty, smart, funny, with a kind heart and is cute as a bug's ear. And who does not love that I ask you? Also, as in the case of George and I, there comes a point when you both know where all the bodies are buried. 'Nuff said.

GC: I imagine there’s a contract somewhere, but Sharron is genuinely fun to be around so I’m sure that helps. Don’t tell her I said that.

The Vicious Bitches take the stage on Sun, June 22 at the Second City Theatre, 51 Mercer St,, and Thurs, June 26 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.