Carmella Marcella Garcia returns to Nashville

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Fron Inside Out Nashville
Staff Reports

In today’s celebrity culture, the word “legend” is often overused, but few would dare deny it as an appropriate description of the female impersonator and entertainer extraordinaire, Carmella Marcella Garcia.

Carmella, who for the past twelve years has been the show director at Southern Nights in Orlando Florida, the South’s remier show bar, has joined the cast of Play Dance Bar and will begin performing there starting New Year’s Eve weekend.

“I’m really excited about returning to Nashville, where I got my start in 19…, well, a good while back,” said Carmella. “It’s funny how life leads you home. I’m originally from Brownsville, Kentucky – population “several” – and am now living back home and working at a club just three blocks from the old Cabaret where I started my career more than 25 years ago. I absolutely love Play and the cast. The crowd has so much energy and it’s really fun to be part of such a great roup of performers.”

After winning her very first talent night at the original Cabaret, Carmella worked with Diana Huttons, Miss Gay USA  1987, and spent a summer working with her, Waylon Flowers, and Jimmy James in Provincetown, Massachusetts. After Ptown, she came back to Nashville and worked for the Warehouse for a couple of years before moving to Florida, where after a few years on cast at the Parliament House and then performing around the country in her own two-person show, she settled in at Southern Nights.

Always a popular performer and comedienne, Carmella has performed at the Improv and the Comedy Store in LA where Richard Pryor and others got their starts.) She’s been on Comedy Central, E Entertainment, the Travel Channel, and HBO. And she’s opened or worked with numerous celebrities including Eartha Kitt, Crystal Waters, Jennifer Holiday, Carrot Top, and Bruce Vilanch, among others.

She has won every major national drag title in the country for “large girls.” In 1988, representing the State of Tennessee, she was crowned Miss USA at Large, the first ever, national “big girl title” bestowed.

She won Miss Universe at Large in 1992 and Miss Continental Plus in 1995. She’s currently the National Emcee for the Continental and Continental Plus pageants.

“Needless to say, we are absolutely thrilled to have Carmella back in Nashville and part of the cast of Play,” says Play owner, Joe Brown. “Every time we’ve had her as a guest performer, she draws a huge crowd and always leaves our customers entertained and laughing. We are proud of the diversity of our cast – there’s no two performers alike – and you’ll always find the most diverse show at Play. Carmella’s style of performing compliments the rest of our cast and adds elements of comedy and style that will really enhance our show.”

Carmella will be joining “the Body Beautiful,” Austria Andrews, “the Innocent Beauty,” Nichole Ellington Dupree, “the Ebony Goddess,” Chyna, “the Punk Funk Fairytale,” The Princess, “the Velcro Venus,” Versage, and “the Sweet Sensation,” Sara Andrews on the cast of Play.

Play Dancebar is located at 1519 Church Street (www.playdancebar.com.) Showtimes are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 11 pm and 1 am, and Sunday “drag-e-oke” with amateur night and shows at 11 pm and 1 am.