Hot Lips, cool tunes

Never was much for watching TV in the 1970s, except for Dragnet reruns and Ultraman. Nevertheless, when M*A*S*H appeared in 1972, with the whiny Alan Alda as Hawkeye and Loretta Swit as Hotlips (and, OK, with the great Harry Morgan from Dragnet coming on board in 1975 to play Col. Potter), from that time on, it was pretty inescapable. Whenever you’d go over to somebody’s house, someone there would be watching M*A*S*H, which ran until 1981. Even after that, the damned series continued via syndication, and there were times in the 1980s when you’d be hard-pressed to find a channel that was not showing M*A*S*H.

The pisser is that this mediocre TV show obscured a pretty good Robert Altman-directed movie from 1970, which featured such cinematic icons as Donald Sutherland and Robert Duvall, as well as the great Bobby Troup, who wrote the song “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.” Also in that cast was Sally Kellerman, who played Maj. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan.

When you go to Kellerman’s Web site today, the icon you click to navigate the site is a pair of, well, hot lips. There, you can learn that not only is Kellerman an actress who has appeared in a number of films, including a stint as Rodney Dangerfield’s love interest in the 1986 smash Back to School (and according to the Internet Movie Database, she recently appeared in a short film directed by Moon Unit Zappa, curiously not listed on her site), but she is also a cabaret singer, and a pretty good one at that, and there are sound clips from her most recent album, titled Gratitude.

Kellerman, who sings somewhat regularly at the Roxy Theatre on Sunset in West Hollywood, is coming to Old Sacramento on Tuesday, September 28, and Wednesday, September 29, to play a one-woman show, In One Era and Out the Other, at the Delta King Theatre, on the big boat moored at 1000 Front Street. She will be backed by a band, and her repertoire—according to Gayiel Von, who produces the Diva Cabaret Series at the Delta King—will range from torch tunes to the kind of blues you’d hear Mose Allison or Maria Muldaur sing. The show starts at 8 p.m. and costs $25, and if you’re hungry, you can opt for the dinner package, which commences at 6 p.m. and costs $52. If you’re interested, you should call the Delta King box office at (916) 995-5464, because advance reservations probably are required.