Randii Andii’s costumes

Randii Andii’s costumes

Nanaimo’s queen of parody

Comedian and parody singer Randii Andii celebrates the recording of her favourite songs before hitting the road on tour

Randii Andii doesn’t do bar mitzvahs.

And once you hear the first few lines of one of her songs parodying a hit single, you’ll instantly know why.

“It’s definitely adult entertainment – I don’t do PG,” Andii said.

The Nanaimo performer wrote her first parody about seven years ago for her friends while they were on their way to a music festival in the B.C. Interior.

She took the song “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and dirtied it up. She then performed it for her friends at karaoke in a random bar on the road trip.

“I just thought it was my friends who had a gross sense of humour,” Andii said. “I was wrong.”

She performed with Vikki Smudge, beloved local drag queen, who encouraged Andii to do the parody songs.

Andii performed the songs at similar adult-only events, like drag shows, burlesque, plus fundraisers, earning a loyal following of fans.

Now she compiled her five favourite – and most requested – parodies into an album, recorded at Broken Spiral Studios in Nanaimo, and celebrates its launch Friday (July 27) at Diners Rendezvous.

She puts her own take on Whitney Houston’s Saving All My Love For You; Proud Mary, by Tina Turner; and Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, by Otis Redding.

“I don’t remember the real words to any of the original songs,” Andii said.

Others told her something similar.

“All they hear in their head is the dirty version.”

Andii performed in her high school choir and took musical theatre. She was also in the top 100 in 2007’s Canadian Idol.

“I went dressed in drag,” she said. “They cut me – what a surprise.”

Inspiration strikes anywhere, and Andii keeps a shoebox of potential songs, with ideas written next to original lyrics. Sometimes the songs work out and other times they fall flat in front of an audience.

Like any type of comedy, no matter how much work went into a song or a joke, if the crowd doesn’t like it, it goes into the dust heap, she said.

In January, Andii took the plunge and quit her day job, aiming to pursue comedy and entertainment as her career. Her act consists of not only the parody songs, but also stand-up comedy.

Her outlandish, over-the-top costumes, hair and makeup could be considered its own act.

“I’m like a one-person Vegas show,” she said.

This month, she’ll be in Vancouver at Yuk Yuks, which she hopes will be the springboard for a spot with the national chain of comedy clubs.

Either way, she hits the road on tour.

“[The album launch] is going to kinda be the last thing I do in Nanaimo for awhile,” Andii said.

The album launch features Andii, plus some of the people who helped her – or those she helped; Andii often donates her time to fundraisers – along the way, from comedians, to drag queens to burlesque dancers.

Her album will also be for sale.

“People love to take a piece of something away from the show,” she said. “For years, people were asking where can I buy this? Where can I download this?”

Randii Andii’s album launch begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and include a signed copy of the album. Please call 250-740-1133 for tickets.

For more information on Randii Andii, please visit www.randiiandii.ca.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com