Derrick Barry is the best Britney Spears impersonator in the world. He's not the best male Britney impersonator; he's the best overall. If you don't believe me, head to Krave Nightclub this weekend and see for yourself.
I caught Barry's (all-too-brief, in my opinion) late-night act last Sunday. Around 2 a.m., Krave dimmed the lights and cut off the falling foam "rain." The cowboy-booted, booty-shorted go-go dancers hopped down from their boxes, and the show began.
Dancers from The Lion King and Divas Las Vegas descended the floor-to-ceiling staircase and Barry joined them onstage in tight black pants and sparkly tank top. He strutted, he writhed, he lip-synced to Spears' "Boys." And Barry's Britney put Britney's Britney to shame.
"In 2003," Barry told me backstage, "my friend showed me this ad Britney did for Skechers, and he said, 'You kind of look like her.' So that Halloween, I dressed as Britney. I walked around Santa Monica and people were freaking out. Everybody wanted a picture. Two weeks later, I got a call from the Tonight Show, and I've been doing Britney ever since."
Was it good 4 you?
- Joey, student
- "Every second was entertaining."
- Hunter, off-duty Krave VIP server
- "It's something everybody can enjoy: gay, straight — everybody."
- Damon, clerk
- "The way she looks, the way she dances — it's incredible."
Barry — who also plays Britney in Divas Las Vegas at Imperial Palace — learned how to do his Britney-style makeup from the J-Lo impersonator at La Cage. Now he does it on his own, and he uses Britney's Live from Las Vegas CD cover as inspiration. He must do a good job; sometimes he passes for Britney in the sunlight.
"One day a woman came up to me and said that her granddaughter was a huge fan of mine and that I had to meet her. So I said, 'Okay,' and I signed an autograph and said, 'I love you,' and they both left thinking they'd just met the real Britney."
As you can see, Barry is committed to the act. How committed? The day after Britney shaved her head, Barry shaved his, too.
Barry performs at Krave's "Boys & Barry Sundaes" Sundays at 11 p.m. The April 4 performance will feature renditions of The Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World" and "Kiss the Girl." Go see it; after all, now that The Showgirl Must Go On is no longer going on, where else are you going to get your mermaid kicks?