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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rest in Peace, Local Drag Legend Vicki Marlane

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Vicki Marlane was SF Weekly's Best Drag Queen of 2009.
  • Vicki Marlane was SF Weekly's Best Drag Queen of 2009.

In your dreams, you'd be different, right? There are so many cool things you could be: a 1930s carnival sideshow hottie, a 1950s bombshell with elaborate hair, or a 1970s Bay Area scenester. You could be a different gender, or just plain gorgeous, or a showgirl on the lam with her Johnny trying to stay one step ahead of the cops ever since she made that jailbreak. How about a righteous freedom fighter stickin' it to the Man, or a crossdressing rollerskating elementary schooler?

San Francisco drag legend Vicki Marlane was all of these and more; she also performed at Aunt Charlie's Lounge every Friday and Saturday night into her mid-70s. She passed away this morning; the city adored her and we mourn her passing.

Filmmaker Michelle Lawler met Marlane several years ago and made a documentary detailing all of the above as well as the parts you wouldn't fantasize about -- the real story. Forever's Gonna Start Tonight is all Marlane, all the time. It has won awards and has been shown at festivals all over the place; we hope it'll be screened all over the Bay Area soon.

On the film's site, Lawler writes that "making this film was how she wanted to leave her legacy; that she would not be around much longer and she wanted to tell people her story ... I was honored that she was going to trust me with this responsibility." We're glad she did; our dreams are better for it.

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