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As I Lay Lip-Synching

At the end of As I Lay Lip-Synching, Lypsinka does something startling: Just by opening her mouth, she morphs instantly into her “maid,” John Epperson. “I’m like Liza Minnelli,” he says, plugging his upcoming performances in the Studio Theatre’s “John Epperson in Rep” series. “I can’t help putting on a show.” No one’s ever denied the 49-year-old Hazlehurst, Miss., native that. But keeping your alter ego fresh after nearly 20 years of performance wears on even the hardiest queen. It doesn’t help that Lip-Synching isn’t a new show but a revival of a 1994 Lypsinka vehicle. Fresh or not, the “Official Celebrity of the New Millennium” inhabits the voices of those leading ladies of impeccable diction—including Minnelli, Bette Davis, and, yes, Joan Crawford—with great zest. She’s aided well by Giorgios Tsappas’ set, which evokes a ’50s television-variety program. Bryant Hoven’s costumes are elegantly dazzling, though not as dazzling as Lypsinka’s ability to change them so rapidly. You could argue that not much more than camp sensibility and fabulous costumes separate Lypsinka from, say, DJ Shadow. But when was the last time DJ Shadow donned a strapless, sequined gown? The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 11, and Saturday, June 12 (see City List for other “John Epperson in Rep” shows and dates), at the Studio Theatre’s Milton Theatre, 1333 P St. NW. $41–$45. (202) 332-3300. (Mike DeBonis)