Kinsey Sicks harmonize on greatest hits 

The Kinsey Sicks have been living the perfect drag fairy tale. There’s always a happy ending (in their shows, at least) and their careers were blessed from the get-go by alpha diva, the Divine Miss M.

“In a certain way, Bette is responsible for us,” jokes Irwin Keller (Winnie in the group). He recalls the 1990s — forget the clothes, just embrace the “learning” — when buddy Ben Schatz corralled three friends, Keller among them, to hit a local Midler concert.

“We went in drag as The Andrew Sisters,” he says. “We thought there would be a lot of drag queens, but we turned out being the only ones — other than Bette. Well, we drew all this unexpected attention, then a promoter came up to us and wanted us to perform at an event.

Jumping at the chance, they soon began developing what would become their legendary harmonizing. Eventually, they did what any well-rehearsed men in drag would do: hit the street corner on the corner of Castro and Market.

The rest is, well, herstory.

The good news? The group, now celebrating 17 years, hits the Rrazz Room for a bold two-week endeavor. Expect impressive four-part harmony and other “offerings in the areas of politics, love and plain old raunch” from the group, currently consisting of Schatz (Rachel) and Keller (Winnie), Spencer Brown (Trampolina) and Jeff Manabat (Trixie).

A creative force unlike any other, the award-winning quartet is the longest running drag sensation around. Off-Broadway shows helped fuel some success, as did headlining Vegas. Along the way, they’ve given birth to seven albums and were the subject of several films.

As for the their moniker, it’s a play off the words on “Kinsey 6,” the end of the Kinsey Scale. So, what’s the secret to their longevity?

“I haven’t a clue,” quips Schatz. “Maybe authenticity. Many performers are pre-packaged. We write our own stuff, aim to have fun, and be challenging to ourselves. We say what we think, and I think people respond to that.”

As for what audiences can expect at the Rrazz, it will be “mostly greatest hits — the least hated of our material over the years; the least despised numbers.”

Asked what comes to mind as Schatz looks back over the scope of the group’s unprecedented success, he says, “This is something we started as a lark — it’s my longest career ever. And I am very grateful that we live in a country filled with people with bad taste and discretionary income.”

He’s joking, of course. (Or is he?)

IF YOU GO

The Kinsey Sicks

Where: Rrazz Room, 222 Mason St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays; closes Aug. 14
Tickets: $35 to $40
Contact: (800) 380-3095 or www.therrazzroom.com

About The Author

Greg Archer

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of...

More by Greg Archer

Latest in Other Arts

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016

Videos

Readers also liked…

Most Popular Stories

© 2016 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation