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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

AbFab Live!: Have Yourself a Booze-Soaked Xmas at Oasis

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 5:15 PM

click to enlarge GARETH GOOCH
  • Gareth Gooch

As even the most casual fan of Absolutely Fabulous knows, one of the greatest episodes — if not the greatest — takes place on New Year's Eve, when Eddie Monsoon is itching to go to the ultimate underground party in London (Frankie Knuckles' CD-ROM Dance Happening). It turns out to be rather far away and quite literally subterranean ("in an underground car park in Romsey," as Eddie's addled besty, Patsy Stone, says).

click to enlarge GARETH GOOCH
  • Gareth Gooch
But before they can ring in 1996, Patsy's vicious, aged, ex-prostitute sister Jackie arrives. As the only character in the show's history who can hold her own against the comedic tag team of Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, the self-absorbed Jackie ("the woman who smoked opium with Chairman Mao, who made Dylan go electric") ruins everything, with a little assist from an equally self-absorbed idiot named Cherysh-with-a-Y.

And now it's Oasis' turn. While everyone else is cooing over the adorable moppets in ACT's A Christmas Carol, the queens of San Francisco's premiere drag cabaret are staging two holiday-themed episodes of Absolutely Fabulous Live: "Happy New Year" and "Cold Turkey." Watch Eddie (Terry McLAughlin) try to placate Patsy (ZsaZsa Lufthansa) as she insults Eddie's daughter Saffy (Dene Larson) who corrects the dim-witted assistant Bubble (Raya Light) who's kind enough to sit next to the dotty Gran (Peggy L'Eggs) as one malicious remark after another escapes from the lips of Jackie (Katya Smirnoff-Skyy.)

Directed by Christian Heppinstall, the artistic director of the Royal British Comedy Theatre, these two episodes cut right through the baubles and the gift-wrapped Lexus commercials to get to the heart of the holiday season: booze-soaked recriminations, too-tight leopard-print tops, and flashbacks of childhood nightmares of finding barbiturates in your Advent calendar. And there are only six performances.

Absolutely Fabulous LIVE!: The Holiday Episodes, Dec. 2, 4-5, and 8-10, 7 p.m., $25, at Oasis, 298 11th St. 415-795-3180 or

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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