It was a sunny Saturday afternoon when I met Ms. Tranna Wintour in a lavish hotel lobby in Old Montreal to find out more about what she has been up to in the year since she first exposed herself on stage. Towering over me in her stilted 6 inch walking heels, she greeted me in pure Montreal fashion with a kiss on each cheek and a smoky hello darling. We met to chat about her upcoming one-woman show and learn more about her inspirations and her experience in the standup comedy scene. I was also there to get the dirt on how she managed to ruffle Madonna’s (yes, that Madonna) bristled feathers enough to get a chilly blast of her social media cold shoulder.
With the mercury slowly rising it would have been ridiculous of us to pass up the opportunity to be outside on a sunny Saturday afternoon in April. Only steps from the soft light of the warm mahogany bar we made an eleventh hour decision to head out into the fresh early spring air. We turned back towards the glass doors and left the somber lobby, heading for the bright light and glowing heat of nature’s spotlight. Stepping outside, she placed a well-manicured hand into that of the porters as he helped her down onto the sidewalk. As we stepped away from the hotel, the glances from the fur clad ladies and the curious looks from their curious husbands barely fazed her. She was more concerned with the deadly cobblestone slope she would have to survive in gravity defying heels in order to safely reach our destination.
Once we were comfortably seated on the sun-drenched terrasse at Communion on de la Commune, we started our conversation with a casual observation about how quickly Montrealers head back outside once the snow starts to melt. It might still be freezing but after a winter-long imposed imprisonment we are like fresh buds just waiting to burst open and bloom. As the other sun seeking patrons were finishing their brunch as we got down to business and ordered our first drinks. Dressed subtly in gold lame pants, a silver sequined jacket and a questionably obtained fur (take that Pamela Anderson), Tranna Wintour softly ordered a glass of rosé while I opted for a less classy pint of blonde.
The title of this article is Who The Hell Does She Think She Is and that’s how I began asking her about her foray into Montreal’s vibrant comedy scene. I was there when she hit the stage for the first time a year ago and now she is in the final planning stages of her very first one-woman show aptly titled, I Am No Man, which will be presented, one night only, on May 10th.
It was about a year ago she performed for the first time in front of an audience. She entered an open mic night at Comedy Works on Bishop and won over the crowd that evening with her stories, her jokes and her ease on stage. She has the comedic timing that you can only be born with and can intertwine the most emotionally compelling story with the raunchiest of tales. She may be no man but she’s also no prude. Since winning that opening mic night she has been regularly performing in venues across the city, growing a fan base that continues to be curious about who the hell she thinks she is.
Describing herself not as a comedian but as a storyteller, her show is about celebrating the femininity that has inspired her and surrounds us all on a daily basis. While telling her own story, she draws inspiration from divas such as Liza Minnelli, Cher, Sandra Bernard (who happens to love her) and of course Barbara Streisand.
Though it is certain she will touch on her inspirations, don’t expect that this show to be nothing but hand holding and singing kumbaya all evening. Tranna Wintour may be soft spoken, that doesn’t mean she won’t have a salacious word for her targets. As mentioned earlier, one of these targets happens to be none other than Ms. Madonna Louise Ciccone Penn Ritchie etc., who recently blocked TW on social media for pointing out the hypocrisy in her latest attention-grabbing diatribe (Ms. Wintour’s words, not mine). The kaleidoscopic Madonna mantra is something that we all may tire of but Tranna Wintour is the only person I know who has gotten any reaction from the ever-elusive Queen of Pop. If trajectory has anything to do with, Ms. Wintour is aiming at the bull’s-eye and about to pull the trigger.
As part of I Am No Man, Tranna may also be revealing secrets (remember that questionably obtained fur?) on stage like the ones she whispered to me over our drinks and made me swear not to write about.
The name Tranna Wintour will sound familiar to some and of course, like so many divas and celebrities out there this is a very well chosen name for a stage presence that demands the attention of the crowd. Don’t expect Ms. Wintour to want to have the kind of volcanic reputation that has made her namesake both revered and feared in her industry; not just yet anyway. Maybe one day she will put the famous in infamous but for now she’s concentrated on her one-woman show.
Bringing an end to a couple of fabulous hours, we were on our way out of the restaurant I asked what she hopes to get out of this whole experience. She paused and laughed to herself. She told me that she wants to get famous enough to become a fallen diva that the gays can keep putting on a pedestal long after the curtain has been drawn. There’s nothing better than a falling star but the real deal is making a comeback. Here’s to the prosperous rise and dramatic disco ball-shattering fall (and comeback) of a true Montreal diva. In answering my question, who the hell does she think she is, she is the confident, smart, funny and charismatic personality that was born to make it big which isn’t so unusual after all.