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True Confessions 

Three one-act plays dish on campy, colorful celebs: Liberace, drag queen Doris Fish, and '70s party girl Jennifer Blowdryer

Wednesday, Aug 28 2002
Based on its title, you'd think that "Let's Talk About Me" -- the trio of one-acts opening this week at Theatre Rhino -- would offer the usual self-absorbed solo schlock that we've learned to live with in San Francisco. But these world premieres are historical (if somewhat campy) investigations into the lives of three colorful celebs, and while they're all biographical, they're anything but typical.

Behind the Candelabra -- My Life With Liberace was adapted from the writings of Scott Thorson, a man who both chauffeured and slept with the elaborately coiffed showman Wladziu Valentino Liberace. While the play recalls Liberace's sensational past, it's hardly a feel-good tribute. Billed as an "American Gothic horror story," it depicts some of the star's less desirable traits and less-than-innocent activities.

Simply Stunning is a solo show about the Bay Area's own drag queen legend, Doris Fish, who maneuvered her fashionably flamboyant self into countless nightclubs throughout the '80s. Fish is perhaps remembered best for Vegas in Space, a futuristic film about three male soldiers who go undercover as women (via a pill) on a secret mission to the chicks-only planet Clitoris. Fish produced, starred in, and designed costumes for the movie, which was released posthumously in 1991, after she died from complications associated with AIDS.

New York City author and performer Jennifer Blowdryer (who's co-producing "Let's Talk" with Phillip R. Ford) takes us on a punk rock blast through her past in White Trash Debutante. The play, adapted from her novel by the same name, describes life as a 1970s party girl caught up in sex, drugs, and ... Erik Estrada. If you're looking for a little glamour this Labor Day weekend -- or maybe a pinch of scandal -- "Let's Talk About Me" has your ticket. And when the queens rule the roost, the costumes are sure to be dazzling.

About The Author

Karen Macklin


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