To state merely that animation voice empress June Foray has permeated popular culture would be a drastic understatement. Foray, aka the Cartoon Queen, is the undisputed reigning championatrix of distaff vocal characterization, a talent whose pipes shift from winsome to wizened, serene to savage with such effortless fluidity and palpable involvement that each and every wild, weird personality conjured instantaneously assumes an undeniable presence. Tonight's celebration of June Foray's 95th birthday (where she'll perform, along with Will Ryan & his Cactus Cowboys and special guests) offers a rare chance to express gratitude for this astonishing player's innumerable achievements. Whether it's the endearing doddering dotage of Tweety Bird's keeper Granny, the daft capers of her immortal clear-toned Rocky J. Squirrel or droll deadpan nemesis Natasha Fatale, not to mention the cloyingly effective vulnerability of her Grinch-defying Cindy Lou Who or the steely sugar-coated menace of The Twilight Zone's murderous doll Talky Tina, Foray unfailingly and emphatically nails it. As the late super genius animator Chuck Jones stated, "June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc -- Mel Blanc was the male June Foray." Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 Lake St., Altadena; Thurs., Sept. 27, 8 p.m.; $25 ($20 if you surprise June with some flowers!). (626) 398-7917, coffeegallery.com.
Thu., Sept. 27, 8 p.m., 2012