Return of the drag queens

  • by David-Elijah Nahmod
  • Wednesday May 18, 2016
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Sasha Soprano: famous for absolutely nothing.
Sasha Soprano: famous for absolutely nothing.

The big, beautiful Castro Theatre is the place to be on May 28 if you love a big, beautiful drag show. The venerable showplace will be welcoming the latest edition of the now-annual Drag Queens of Comedy.

The Drag Queens of Comedy is more than your typical drag show. These queens are seasoned professional actors who bring star power to the Castro stage. Ten drag icons will be seen in performance during a night that promises to tickle your funny bone. The festivities will be hosted by superstar Bianca Del Rio, who took home the top prize for season six of RuPaul's Drag Race. The evening will include the comic stylings of Sasha Soprano, who spent her youth right up the street from the Castro Theatre.

"Omigish, I miss the Castro I would see while heading home from school in the 90s," Soprano told the B.A.R. "I remember Presto Print, Ben & Jerry's, assless chaps, and Donna Sachet!" Soprano admits that she never entered the theater's hallowed doorways until she first performed there in 2009. "I love the theater!" she said. "It's so gorgeous and just epic! To me, the Castro is the biggest gay stage in the world. To me, it is everything!"

Heklina: turned up a few notches.

San Francisco icon Heklina also takes to the Castro stage that night. She assures us that drag remains an audience draw. "It's more popular than ever!" she said. "You have teenage girls wanting to be drag queens. Because of that damn TV show, drag queens are the new rock stars!"

Heklina added that it's harder for new queens to create their own personas because many are copying what they see on TV. Like Soprano, Heklina loves performing in the Castro. "I love doing it because it's not something I do very often: rehearsing monologues and jokes, doing stand-up," she said. "It's out of my comfort zone, it's challenging, and it makes me nervous, so there's a thrill there. And doing it in the Castro? It's my home turf."

Both performers described their stage personas for any newbies who might be in the audience. "Sasha was created when being famous for absolutely nothing was trending," explained Soprano. "The Paris Hiltons, the Kim Kardashians. I just make fun of my boy life. I make a mockery of going to dinner at the Olympic Club. I make fun of people that actually think like Sasha. I make fun of ignorance, stereotypes, and hate."

Soprano believes in the old adage that laughter is the best medicine. "I think when you laugh at hatred, you bring the pain factor down a bit," she opined. "From my experience in life, you need to laugh. And I feel we need to laugh more now than ever."

"Heklina is really just me, with the personality and energy turned up a few notches," said Heklina. "It's not a character that I assume, it's me. I sometimes think of my drag as a suit of armor, I slip it on before going to battle. And believe me, backstage at The Drag Queens of Comedy is a battle!"

When Heklina appears on the Castro stage, she'll be sharing the spotlight with her "arch-rival" and best bud, superstar Peaches Christ. "We 'read' one another and everyone else in the show, but also try to give up-and-coming drag queens advice," she said, pointing out that this would be a different performance from what they did in Los Angeles, which has since been posted at YouTube.

Other queens taking to the Castro stage include New York icon and Wigstock founder Lady Bunny, Coco Peru, and Varla Jean Merman. Drag Race alums Alyssa Edwards, Trixie Mattel and Bob the Drag Queen round out the bill.

Sugar daddies, please note: Sasha Soprano might want to meet you after the show. "I'm looking for a wealthy, handsome, hot, insured, employed, owns his home, leases his car " for business purposes only, not because he is broke " over 6'3" man," Soprano told us. "Preferred age is 32. Gym membership encouraged. Equinox appreciated. So if you know anyone, and they may have a summer home in the Hamptons, please let me know."

You heard it here first, folks.

 

The curtain will rise on The Drag Queens of Comedy at the Castro Theatre at 6 & 10 p.m. on Sat., May 28. Tickets ($45-$350): thedragqueensofcomedy.com.