Miss Coco Peru to perform at Eureka’s Diversity Weekend
by Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief
Considered “the hostess with that something...extra,” Miss Coco Peru has received worldwide acclaim for the award-winning solo shows she’s starred in, written, produced and directed.
She garnered even more acclaim for Conversations with Coco, her remarkable series of tributes to great performers. In Conversations, she conducted live career-retrospective interviews with such luminaries as Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Liza Minnelli and the late Bea Arthur.
This sensational talent will perform at the next Diversity Weekend in Eureka Springs.
The Gayly asked Miss Coco to share her thoughts about performing in small-town Arkansas, and what she might be expecting to find.
“One of the things I’ve learned being on the road is that this country has a lot of smaller cities and towns where being gay and diversity is celebrated,” said Peru. “Often when I travel, people living in NYC or L.A. will make the obvious stereotypical jokes that we have about certain parts of this country, but I always tell them that they don’t know what they’re missing.
“Visiting many of these smaller, diverse towns like Eureka Springs, I have come to appreciate and understand why people choose to make these smaller cities their homes.”
Peru said she tries to not to make assumptions.
“I do anticipate that those people that’ll come see my show will be equally excited about me being there as I am for the opportunity to be there. It will be like gay church!”
Diversity Weekend organizer, Jay Wilks, said due to Peru’s schedule, she will be only able to perform Saturday, April 6, and attended the private meet and greet after.
Wilks was able to book Peru to entertain because “The wonderful Del Shores provided me with a list of entertainers and one of them was Coco.
“Coco and Del have the same agent and are friends. Del has spoken well to his friends about Eureka Springs, and we have several entertainers who have reached out to us from what Del Shores and Jimmy James has told them.”
Shores will be in Eureka Springs on Saturday, March 30 (the week before Diversity Weekend) to perform his new show, The Sh*t Stirrer! (click here for more information on Del Shores Eureka event).
Peru said her wants are simple for this trip; all she asks is for comfort and coffee.
“I hope my accommodations are comfortable and I have a coffee machine in the room. I need my coffee in the morning, and it’s best that I have it before having to deal with people.”
She went on to say, “For the sake of Eureka Springs, please let there be a coffee machine in my room!”
Peru is known for being quick-witted and hysterical. In fact, when we asked her if there was anything she would like to ‘add’ to the story, her response was “No, I’ve always been bad at math.”
Her preferred pronoun, she said, is “Cougar.”
Peru grew up as Clinton Leupp and said the 10-year-old Clinton would have never imagined being Coco.
“I think what the 10-year-old me would like the best is playing dress up and feeling the connection with the audience. I felt so isolated growing up gay and bullied for being effeminate that owning all of that now and being celebrated for it is deeply satisfying. Even after working as Coco for 28 years, it still feels healing.”
But a young Clinton would also recognize about Coco that “all grown up,” she is still plagued by fears.
“This is what young me would like the least. The good thing is that I push myself often to face these fears, but it would be nice to overcome them. However, my husband said it is my fear that keeps me on my toes and trying always to be my best, so fear can be a good motivator.”
Peru has been seen on the big screen and TV as well as in commercials. She has performed in many live one-person shows and won dozens of awards and accolades. However, she wants to make clear, “Because you’re probably still wondering, I would just like to add that I did not perform in the nude at that nudist colony!”
She has also become a viral sensation on social media platforms, including Instagram and YouTube.
In fact, over nine-million viewers have seen Coco’s YouTube videos. Coco Goes to KMART has over two million views.
For more about Peru, you can find her on social media, or visit her website www.misscocoperu.com.
For tickets to her Eureka Springs Spring Diversity show on April 6, visit www.theaud.org.
Copyright The Gayly. March 4, 2019 @ 8:34 a.m. CST.
Schedule for Spring Diversity Weekend, April 4-7
Eureka Springs, Arkansas. A city proud to say they are “Diverse every day.”
Felicia Blackheart and guests (park)
Gisele Monae and guest (park)
Musicians in the Park:
Johi Kafra (back by popular demand)
Fossils of Ancient Robots
Palm Springs-based Artist, Trevor Wayne will be returning to Eureka Springs for a small gallery show and will have a vendor table in the park where people can purchase his iconic pop art and meet him.
There will be a lot of events in town for everyone to enjoy.
All open events, such as the meet and greet (Friday), Diversity in the Park (Saturday) and Drag Queen Bingo (Saturday) are all free and family-friendly events.