Hello, Dolly! Cover band leads birthday tribute to Dolly Parton

Hello, Dolly! Cover band leads birthday tribute to Dolly Parton
Kevin Frest

Welcome to the Dollhouse!

A Dolly Parton cover band will celebrate the country music icon’s 72nd birthday a little early this month, with a Jan. 6 celebration featuring music, comedy, burlesque, and drag performers. Brooklyn band Doll Parts will take the stage at Union Hall, leading an eclectic evening of tributes to the country singer, who was born on Jan. 17, 1946. Parton herself would approve of the lineup, said the band’s keyboard player and singer, because her living legacy is one of acceptance for all.

“She’s so fully herself in ways we can all aspire to,” said Maggie Katz. “She’s unapologetic about who she is and promotes radical acceptance.”

Doll Parts will play an array of Parton’s hits at the concert for an audience of fans that — just like the band — has always loved her.

“All Dolly fans want a place to celebrate together,” said Katz. “She has an eclectic fan base. She unites everyone.”

Parton’s enthusiastic embrace of plastic surgery, wigs, and rhinestones has made her an icon of exaggerated femininity, and the band members are excited to see the looks cooked up by drag queens Lady Quesa’Dilla and CalcuttaBitch, as well as comedy duo Fantasy Grandma and burlesque performer Darlinda Just Darlinda, said the band’s ukulele player and singer.

“It’ll be incredible to see them take on a Dolly side of themselves,” said Julia Sirna-Frest.

The night will also feature a culinary celebration of Parton, in the form of a cake designed after her two most prominent attributes.

“A friend is making a giant birthday cake of Dolly’s boobs,” said Sirna-Frest. “We’ll sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and then everyone will eat a piece of Dolly’s boobs.”

Doll Parts formed in 2011, literally fulfilling a dream of Sirna-Frest’s husband.

“My husband woke up in the middle of the night and told me to start a Dolly Parton cover band and then went back to sleep,” she said.

None of the band members hail from the south, so you could say they lack country roots. But they admire Parton’s prolific songwriting ability, stage presence, and pretty much everything about her.

“She’s just so cool and an incredible artist,” said Sirna-Frest. “And who doesn’t love Dolly? I haven’t met anybody. She’s the patron saint of glitter, glam, and love.”

“Happy Birthday Dolly Parton” at Union Hall (702 Union St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope, www.unionhallny.com). Jan. 6 at 8 pm. $10.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.