Drag’s Miss Coco Peru revels in SF audiences 

Although some celebrated performers are taking the stage for “The Drag Queens of Comedy 2014,” the real star of the show may be the sassy mix of tongue-in-cheek and politically incorrect humor.

Well, that and a bevy of wigs, high heels and fake eyelashes likely to flood the Castro Theatre’s stage Saturday night.

“San Francisco just gets the humor,” boasts Miss Coco Peru, one of the evening’s top talents.

Under the inventive execution of producer — and heiress — Sasha Soprano, “The Drag Queens of Comedy” garnered rave reviews in 2010 thanks, in part, to the eclectic drag menagerie on the bill.

Joining Peru on the roster this time around are some of The City’s favorite entertainers, including Lady Bunny and hosts Heklina (producer-creator of Trannyshack) and Peaches Christ (“Milk,” “Midnight Mass With Your Hostess Peaches Christ”).

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” alums — Pandora Boxx, Blanca Del Rio, DWV and Shangela — are also on board.

For Peru, it’s a thrill to return to The City.

“San Francisco audiences just appreciate drag comedy,” she says. “It’s different from, ‘Oh, you’re going to go and have fun and have a laugh.’ There’s this layer of appreciation that you get from San Francisco audiences that is unlike other cities.”

Peru (aka Clinton Leupp) is one of the most popular storytellers-monologists-drag performers in the country. Revered for her droll wit, her celebrity took flight in the late 1990s with the feature film “Trick.”

Appearances in other films, such as “To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar” and “Straight Jacket,” added fuel to her popularity. Now she regularly tours her own comedy show around the world.

In March 2013, her boisterous romp, “She’s Got Balls,” sold out the Castro Theatre.

So, where does the lady find inspiration?

Peru notes her early influences — Bea Arthur and Carol Burnett — as well as the colorful characters of her upbringing.

“I was surrounded by very funny people from the Bronx — real characters,” she says. “They were survivors, working-class people. And I loved being around my parents’ friends [at parties] when I was growing up.

“There was lots of alcohol involved,” she adds with a laugh. “And huge piles of ashtrays all around the house. The adults were loud. But they were funny.”


The Drag Queens of Comedy

Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.

When: 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $35 to $100

Contact: (415) 254-3362, www.thedragqueensofcomedy.eventbrite.com

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Greg Archer

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