Dana Goldberg on Comedy, Women’s Empowerment, and Performing at The Dinah


Dana Goldberg

Comedian Dana Goldberg headlines a stellar lineup on Saturday night during the Dinah Shore Weekend standup show. Goldberg, who was named one of the top 5 lesbian comics by Curve magazine, will be performing alongside her friend Suzanne Westenhoefer who, like Goldberg, is a recurring guest on the Stephanie Miller radio show. I caught up with her on the phone to talk about her third year returning as a performer, what makes the Dinah special, and what fans can expect.

Goldberg’s typical crowd is predominantly lesbians, with some gay men and straight allies thrown in. It’s a treat though, to be able to perform for a room of 500 plus lesbians. She’s known for creating an atmosphere of familiarity — she calls her current mini tour Group Therapy — but whether she’s performing an intimate venue or a theatre, it feels like you’re in her living room having an inappropriate and hysterical conversation.

Goldberg says she loves the Dinah crowd because it’s so diverse, with a demographic spanning from 21 year-olds to 80 year-olds who fly in from all over the world for “lesbian spring break.” “This is the place where people get drunk during the day, take a nap, they’re a little hungover on the same day, then they’re powered up and ready to go for Saturday night.” Sounds like the perfect crowd for Goldberg’s nothing-too-sacred comedy stylings about sex, love, and breakups among women, but this year she will also be bringing a political edge.

You wouldn’t think lez spring breakers would be a political audience, but then, dykes are a rather political breed, perhaps even more so when they’ve knocked back a couple Long Islands. “I will be addressing the orange elephant in the room. I’m going to go up hard against this administration. I don’t hold anything back,” she says.

Goldberg says, “I’ve always done a little bit of politics in my routine. In order for us to find sanity in times like this we have to find levity in it. And so I’ve made a decision in the last year, especially since the Trump administration has been in office, since I have a public voice it sort of feels like not only my pleasure, but my responsibility to be as vocal as I can about what I see as injustices happening to marginalized communities in our country.”

Dana Goldberg at Outfest

Goldberg lauds Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend founder Mariah Hanson who, “over the last few years has been bringing in artists that are intentionally and very vocally empowering our community of women and minority [identities]. So even though a lot of Dinah Shore is a party, you know we have a lot of stories about women getting drunk and making out with their exes and regretting it the next day, that’s not all. There’s also a huge diversity — the younger generation are so [politically] involved now, and so even though it’s a huge party weekend, to be able to show that diversity and women’s power is also something that Mariah is really focused on. So I think we’ll be able to combine the giant party with some really good activism work.”

Goldberg also loves the Dinah because she gets to see so many comedian friends and inspirations. “My comedic inspirations when I was younger was probably stuff like SNL and Robin Williams, but as I’ve gotten older, my inspirations are my colleagues, the people I work with blow me away. Like Erin Foley Jessica Kirson, Gina Yashere — my female counterparts — I watch them and I’m in awe. I learn and get my inspiration from going and seeing my colleagues and supporting my friends.

There’s still time book tickets to Dinah Shore Weekend, and as a little bonus, AfterEllen is giving away a ticket to one lucky winner that gets you and a plus one into the Saturday pool party, so you could have fun under the sun all day and watch Goldberg perform the same night! We hope to party with you this year, because it’s going to be the best Dinah yet! But if you can’t make it to the Dinah, you can catch Dana Goldberg every Thursday on the Stephanie Miller show on Sirius XM, as well as her webseries Out In Left Field for The Advocate. Catch her on Twitter and IG and buy tickets for her upcoming shows at danagoldberg.com.

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