And hear us now, gentlemen and lady-men: they have a new website.
New York may have its glamazons and ambitious comidiennes like Lady Bunny and Hedda Lettuce, and LA may have its party mistresses like Jackie Beat and Chi Chi Larue, but San Francisco’s always been a place for more edgy fare. The now comatose Trannyshack was a haven for provocateurs (we’ve seen enough on-stage enemas and American flags coming out of peoples’ asses to last a lifetime) and nowadays Charlie Horse, Tiara Sensation, the Monster Show, Cocktailgate and Pink Slip are taking up the helm to varying brilliant and sloppy effect. But nowhere does female impersonation hew more closely to its roots than at Aunt Charlie’s, where the hardest working gals in town generally perform no fewer than four numbers apiece–with four separate costume changes–each night.
Go elsewhere if you want to see some hairy-armpitted tranny doing the Le Tigre cover of “I’m So Excited”; you come here for the basics–Barbara, Liza, Bette and Celine, with the younger ones occasionally pulling out some 90s dance diva.
The tranny elders may let a few lip-synch-challenged newbies do a number or three (we’re still sad about Country Bumpkin getting bumped), but the primary roster each week remains pretty much the same. Below, a primer:
a.k.a. The $65,000 Silicone Wonder
She says “Tuesdee.” She has a big rack. She will cut you. The host of each week’s festivities, Gina is a consummate performer with a major wig collection and a sense of style to rival Joan Collins at her Dynasty best. Gina’s been working rooms in SF since the 70s and she keeps iron-tight control over the crowd. This is one smooth talking tranny who won’t hesitate to kick your ass out for being drunk and disorderly.
a.k.a. The Lady With the Liquid Spine
We attended Vicki’s 72nd birthday party a couple years back, so we feel pretty confident they aren’t lying when they call her the oldest queen performing in the city. Her famed “liquid spine” gives her numbers a Carol Burnett-ish quality, but we can’t deny that this old broad still sparkles despite the wear and tear of decades in the spotlights. Scroll down for a live clip of Vicki slinking through her favorite Celine Dion number.
We think he’s got a psychological block that prevents him from ever *completely* committing to drag. He has a goatee, and he’s usually wearing a pair of pleather short-shorts and a sequined top hat like he just got off work on a gay booze cruise. Nevertheless the girls keep him around and bolster his fragile masculine ego by calling him “the manly stud.” Meanwhile he sips white wine that he keeps in a plastic juice jug behind the bar.
You may recognize Collette as the pissed-off cocktail waitress who must elbow past all the bachelorettes and hip kids to sling drinks near the stage. She will occasionally trot out a Tammy Wynette number with a cowboy hat and a somewhat reluctant stage presence. We enjoy her for seeming like the true enforcer of the bunch, and the kind of mean mother figure who’s actually really sweet and giving once you get past the bitch persona.
a.k.a. The Tallest Drink of Water
Time for a cigarette break! (We kid!) Another of the younger generation, Aurora typically does 30s and 40s blues and cabaret numbers. She may not be the flashiest of the bunch, but unlike some of her cohorts, she always knows the words.
Kind of the most carnival-esque of the bunch, recent addition Evita takes make-up to the max and recently appeared with a fiber-optic wig and matching dress. We look forward to her trying to outshine everyone else for years to come.
The Girls’ new site has also brought us this little archival joy: Vicki Marlane doing her requisite Celine Dion number.
San Francisco Kisses Off Trannyshack Forever, Or Until Heklina Needs to Cover Rent Again
The Steve Lady Extravaganza: Memorial for a Beloved Man and Drag Queen
Archival Drag Footage: Holy McGrail’s $12 Lion King
San Francisco Drag Queens Work It Out for Pride
The Hot Boxxx Girls (Official Site)
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