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Monday, June 6, 2016

I AM YOUR QUEEN: Phatima Rude

Posted By on Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 10:30 AM

  • Joe Arenaz
Welcome to I AM YOUR QUEEEN,  recurring feature on the Exhibitionist that gets uncomfortably close with luminaries from the Bay Area's drag scene, to the point where not even light can escape.

"Drag can kill," says Phatima Rude. 

She is the subject of last year's short documentary, "Ladies and Gentlemen: Phatima Rude," by Paul King and Joel Landfield. You can see her coming because of the severe arch of her eyebrows, and you can see her going because she has eyes on the back of her head — literally. (The posterior of her cranium is tattooed with eyes like Divine.) SF Weekly chatted with Phatima about her origins and her shyness — and for a few minutes at least, nobody died.

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Thursday, June 2, 2016


Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Welcome to I AM YOUR QUEEN, a Pride Month series on the Exhibitionist that combs through the drag demimonde to sift out the true movers and shakers from those who merely jiggle a lot.

It's not altogether clear whether Cash Monet is the drag queen of our dreams or whether she'd rather inhabit our nightmares. (She's been pursued on stage by Freddie Krueger before.) Either way, this relative newcomer has already won plaudits for her lqqks and scintillating beard.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Posted By on Wed, Jun 1, 2016 at 1:15 PM

  • Shot in the City
  • K Color

Welcome to I Am Your Queen, a Pride Month feature here at the Exhibitionist that lifts up the proverbial rock on the Bay Area's drag scene and takes diagnostic samples of the glitter trails left by queens scuttling back into the darkness.

When K Color won Oasis' Star Search (as best newcomer) she called it "the best thing that has happened to me" as a drag performer.

If you missed her performance of Katy Perry's "Firework" at The Stud last summer, you might have missed your only opportunity to shoot party poppers at her. (It was an explosive lqqk, such that the hostess, VivvyAnne ForeverMORE! called her a "saboteur.")

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Compton's Cafeteria at 50: Daughters of a Riot Traces Queer Lineages to 1966

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2016 at 4:00 PM

  • Cabure Bonugli

The Stonewall Riot has entered the popular consciousness as the dawn of the LGBT riots movement, and although the film was widely panned (and boycotted) for rewriting history, President Obama's move to incorporate the site as a national park will only solidify its position.

However, as San Francisco's LGBT community knows all too well, the 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riot in the Tenderloin preceded it by three years. To commemorate that moment of near-antediluvian queer history, VivvyAnne ForeverMORE!'s long-running Work MORE! project presents Daughters of a Riot, a two-night show at the Brava Theater(May 27-28, tickets here) that splices drag performances with video narrative to provide a better context for that summer uprising and for modes of political resistance "based on drag and presentations of gender variance."

"It's the 50th anniversary of Compton's, so it's special to us," ForeverMORE! says. "For me, it's significant because its a bigger show than I've ever put on before, with nine cast members."

"I hate this word, but it’s 'educational,' " she adds. "It's been a much bigger research project involving primary sources and interviews before we could create the performances. That's not normally the way you do a drag number."

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Big Hair and Gleefully Dubious Taste in Oasis' Above and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 11:15 AM

D'Arcy Drollinger As Chablis, Nancy French as Gewürztraminer and John Paul Gonzalez As Chardonnay - GARETH GOOCH
  • Gareth Gooch
  • D'Arcy Drollinger As Chablis, Nancy French as Gewürztraminer and John Paul Gonzalez As Chardonnay
This is my happening and it freaks me out!

So goes the most famous line in the inexplicably weird 1970 quasi-parodic non-sequel to Valley of the Dolls, Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Spoken by rock impresario Z-Man Barzett at a party in his living room, it only hints at the weirdness to come. (Z-Man later reveals that he has been a woman all along, and beheads someone who spurned his/her advances.)

This is the provenance — or part of it, anyway — to D'Arcy Drollinger's drag rock musical Above and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, now playing at Oasis through May 14. Drollinger, whose previous original works include Shit and Champagne and its sequel, Champagne White and the Temple of Poon, gleefully hoovers up references from the campiest corners of pop culture while paying homage to the '90s post-punk art band Enrique (of which Drollinger was a member.) It's gonna get weirder.

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RuPaul's Battle of the Season Pit Stops in San Francisco

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 8:34 AM

  • Photo: Zack Ruskin

This wasn’t supposed to be about Prince.

On Thursday night, people of all shapes and sizes crowded into San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom, united by their fandom for the television phenomenon known as RuPaul’s Drag Race. Eight seasons on, the show is an elimination contest to crown “America’s Next Drag Superstar,” hosted by RuPaul, an iconic trailblazer of the art form. Over the years, many queens have become fan favorites, thus the touring production known as “Battle of the Seasons,” which this year featured Adore Delano, Courtney Act, Alaska Thunderfuck, Phi Phi O’Hara, Ginger Minj, Miss Fame, Violet Chachki, and regular judge-slash-RuPaul bestie Michelle Visage.

That the evening unfolded on a day when the world was deep in mourning over the news of Prince’s untimely passing could have been disastrous. After all, there is certainly overlap in fans of the drag community and the work of His Purpleness. A campy but enjoyable opening number featuring the entire cast kicked off the evening, but it was what followed that truly left an impact.

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Peaches Christ Resurrects Midnight Mass with The Final Girls

Posted By on Fri, Mar 18, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Midnight Mass w/ Peaches Christ presents "Final Girls"! With Director, Writers in person takes place Saturday, March 19, at midnight, at the Clay Theater. - COURTESY OF FORTIN AND MILLER
  • Courtesy of Fortin and Miller
  • Midnight Mass w/ Peaches Christ presents "Final Girls"! With Director, Writers in person takes place Saturday, March 19, at midnight, at the Clay Theater.

Since closing Midnight Mass in 2011with '80s horror classic Sleepaway Camp, princess of darkness Peaches Christ has longed to resurrect the popular late-night film series at the Bridge Theatre.  So when she was approached by longtime friends Joshua Miller and Mark Fortin about holding a special Midnight Mass to premiere their homage to horror films like Sleepaway Camp, The Final Girls, about a group of teens literally sucked into an '80s slasher movie, she was axe-cited.

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Bowie Tributes at the Castro Theatre and Oasis Proved What We Already Knew All Along

Posted By on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 12:00 PM

David Bowie tribute at the Castro Theatre. - PHOTO: ZACK RUSKIN
  • Photo: Zack Ruskin
  • David Bowie tribute at the Castro Theatre.

In the weeks since David Bowie’s death, the world has been in mourning. Losing Bowie was a shock, because if Marvel movies have taught us anything, it’s that heroes cannot die. His fans — a dazzlingly eclectic group of every age, ethnicity, and creed — saw him not only as a personal idol, but as an icon for every person that existed outside of the narrow categories into which our culture is so eager to sort us. Processing Bowie’s passing has been no easy task, and in trying to cope, we’ve reverted back to the only thing that can truly give us solace: basking in the immortal beauty of his work.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Imagine: A Gay Man Living With Two Women! Three's Company Live! Hits Oasis

Posted By on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Matthew Martin As Helen, Sara Moore As Stanley, Heklina As Janet, Adam Roy As Jack, And D'Arcy Drollinger As Chrissy - GARETH GOOCH
  • Gareth Gooch
  • Matthew Martin As Helen, Sara Moore As Stanley, Heklina As Janet, Adam Roy As Jack, And D'Arcy Drollinger As Chrissy

One of the best bars in SoMA is the Fez Room at Oasis — unless the Regal Beagle opens in its stead. 

Starting Feb. 25, Oasis will stage a line-by-line drag re-enactment of the one of the most ridiculously hetero-campy sitcoms of all time. Three's Company Live! runs for 12 performances, highlighting the idiocy of Chrissy Snow (D'Arcy Drollinger), the perpetual state of nonplussed-ness that Janet Wood (Heklina) is in, and the failed attempts of one Jack Tripper (Adam Roy) at getting a respectable $30/night gig in a kitchen. It'll be worth riding a bike into the sand for.

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R.I.P. Trans Rights Heroine and San Francisco Drag Sensation Nikki Starr

Posted By on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 2:00 PM

  • Victor Jones
UPDATE: This post has been changed to emphasize Star's gender identity as a trans woman of color.
Last week, San Francisco's trans community mourned the loss of a true civil rights pioneer, and the drag community the passing of one of its greatest performers, Nikki Starr, after a long illness. She may not have performed frequently during the last years of her life, but in her time she was regarded as one of the most commanding queens to hit the stage, particularly at the much-missed Marlena's. Although never an empress of the Imperial Court, her high-intensity, gospel-inflected numbers won her the title of Miss Gay — and even from her hospital bed, she was still styling wigs.

Let's turn the mic over to a few of the queens who knew Nikki Starr well...

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  • 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.'"