Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Southern Baptist Sissies 

The satire here is stronger than any drama of self-discovery

Wednesday, Jun 23 2004
Del Shores' tragicomedy mixes what New Conservatory productions tend to do best (camp) with what they tend to stumble over (sentiment). Four teenage choirboys in a Southern Baptist church experiment with their changeable, fickle desires under the inattentive but feverish eye of a fire-and-brimstone preacher. Mark, who snarkily narrates, falls in love with T.J., a straight-up military son who prefers not to think of himself as gay. Andrew is a sweetly suffering closet case; Benny rejects his upbringing to become a drag queen. The show amounts to a survey of the wreckage caused by Baptist fundamentalism, with music: Church ladies and choirboys sing hymns, while Benny channels Dolly Parton and Wynonna Judd. But the liveliest characters are a pair of barflies who seem to live in the club where Benny sings. An old fag hag named Odette Annette Barnette (J.R. Orlando) makes friends with an overweight, over-the-hill queer named Peanut (Richard Ryan). "Oh, no, honey, I'm not a lesbian," Odette tells him chirpily. "I'm a alcoholic." Unfortunately, they have little to do with the main story. The Baptist-community satire is stronger here than any drama of self-discovery: Sissies, overall, preaches to the converted.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"