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Hit or Miss Richfield :: Drag Guidance for the Apocalypse

by David-Elijah Nahmod

Miss Richfield 1981
Miss Richfield 1981  

If you're feeling traumatized by the events going on in our scary new world, never fear! Miss Richfield 1981 is here to explain it all to you with her own handy and unique survival tips. Miss Richfield 1981 appears on Oasis on Thursday, April 13.

"It all started July 4, 1981, on a simple plywood stage in Richfield, Minnesota," Miss Richfield 1981 tells Bay Area Reporter. "And like so many beauty queens, I won that title with my natural beauty, my baritone vibrato and a fire that horribly disfigured all eleven other contestants when Trudy Olson lost control of her flaming batons. So after they hauled off nine contestants to the burn unit, and a couple others to the morgue, I was the only one left to receive the hand-glittered sash, shiny tiara, and a power lawnmower."

The performer, whose real name is Russ King, says that beauty and hardware go hand-in-hand in his character's fictional home town of Richfield, who doesn't want to panic you, but she fears it may be too late to prevent an apocalypse.

"But I do believe that you can always look your best in a bad situation," said King. "So most of my advice is a bit after the fact, sort of, 'Since we're all going to die anyway, let's go buy shoes and a handbag!' And I am well versed in apocalypse experiences, mostly due to the Greyhound when the bathrooms are clogged up with adult diapers. You know that senior discount is popular!"

King's Oasis show will include audience participation, which is Miss Richfield's favorite component of the performances.

"You never know what's going to happen," says King. "Interaction with the audience also helps fill out the show, because I'm famous for cramming my hour-long shows into 90 minutes. So please bring everyone - relatives, friends and enemies - just think about who deserves it and buy them a ticket."

Miss Richfield 1981's message must be resonating with the public, as King's drag persona has been seen on average in over 100 shows per year. Television appearances include "The Tonight Show," "The Today Show," and Watch What Happens Live on Bravo. King's character is also the national spokesperson for Orbitz and for the city of Palm Springs.

"I'm always on the road because the gals at my church in Richfield keep buying me bus tickets to go someplace else," King explains. "It's amazing, but every time I get home, there on the screen door of my trailer is another bus ticket to go someplace else."

King says that he's touched by the love and support, and wants to assure Oasis fans will be treated to all new material.



"I have new music, new videos, new chatter, and most importantly a new message for our new world we live in," promises King. "These are some strange times and I do believe I've created a fun, toe-tapping program that makes the end of the world a bit more palatable."

And what's next for Miss Richfield 1981?

"Travel, travel, travel," said King. "And I love it, because I adore making new friends. Next I go to Seattle, Vancouver, Cancun with Atlantis, all before I head to Provincetown for the summer at the Crown & Anchor."

King admits that constantly being on the road can have its drawbacks, as in making it more difficult to find a boyfriend.

"You know most single gals in my stage of life are more likely to be killed by a terrorist than find love," said King as Miss richfield. "So I'm thinking I might relocate to Iraq to better my chances. Popularity has its penalties!"


Miss Richfield 1981 @ Oasis; The wacky drag comic returns with '20/20 Vision,' a campy song and story guide to the future. $25-#35. April 13, 14 & 15. 7:30pm. 298 11th St. www.sfoasis.com

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