San Francisco’s Tenderloin trannies, and in particular the busted queens who do the weekend shows at Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, are near and dear to a lot of SF gays.
The place is a serious blast from the past, or from somewhere where they still traipse up the aisle collecting dollars (at least twice) during every number, and where, as OUT once put it, “The production is ramshackle: CDs skip, wigs tilt, falsies ride up out of cleavage, and yet there are nights when the show is almost transcendent.” This is old-school drag at its gritty finest, and documentaries like this one have tried to capture the sublime tragedy of it all so the young gays don’t forget.
Now there’s a new documentary short by James Hosking called “Beautiful at Night” that follows three of these current Aunt Charlie’s performers, Olivia Hart, Collette LeGrande, and Donna Personna, and let’s them tell their personal stories.
The thing is 28 minutes long, so if you hate drag or this bores you, by all means skip it. But it’s kind of amazing.