She stands nervously in front of a lectern, adopting the rote singsong of a 13-year-old giving her Bat Mitzvah speech. She thanks the rabbi and the relatives who came from Florida, Australia and "all the way from Century Village." She praises a Jewish upbringing that on holidays "gave me the opportunity to dress like a doily and sit in the corner in silent anger while the rest of my family discusses in a whisper whether or not I'm a lesbian." Rebecca Drysdale, it so happens, is gay (and does a nifty Dr. Seuss parody about how the butch and the femme lesbians learned to get along), but she resists the label some have tried to stamp on her. "That puts something first, besides funny," she says. "My show's about a hundred other things." Like, oh, AIDS and Hurricane Katrina--for which she devises cheery mock-folk songs--and Brokeback Mountain, which she turns into a video game. Drysdale, 27--who spent her grade-school years in Versailles and Vancouver, B.C., and dropped out of Sarah Lawrence to sell T shirts at Chicago's Second City (before joining the troupe)--is that rarity in the tired-out world of stand-up comedy: a real original. A hit at the 2005 Aspen Comedy Festival, she doesn't do traditional monologues, yet her parodies and character pieces are not (like a lot of Whoopi clones) so much about showing off her performing virtuosity as opening a window into her alienated soul. Giving an account in court of a near rape, she describes being followed down a street by a man, panicking when she realizes the only self-defense she knows is origami, then asking the guy out dancing. At the end of her new show at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City, she strips totally naked and mimes her entire preshow shower ritual to the strains of Helen Reddy's Candle on the Water. "If I start writing something that smacks of something I've done before, I'll scrap it," she says. "If it doesn't surprise me, I'm bored with it." Rebecca Drysdale surprises.