Tranarchy + Pearls Over Shanghai

by angeliska on October 2, 2010

Our latest party is nigh…
October 2nd – 10pm until.. ?
at The ND (The Independent)
501 Brushy & East 5th
A night of dancing and performances from
drag kings, queens and everything in between!
featuring performances by:
Kings n’ Things
Miz Chlamydia Burns
Sym Prole debuting
as Merci Killingspree
2 Left Feet
Anthony F.
DJ Chicken Kiev
DJ Chainsaw Hammell
Will Glitterbeast & The Tranarchy Gogo Dancers!
Transformation Station from Coco Coquette
Photobooth from Fun Lovin’ Photos!
Projections by RECSPEC
$7 – Dressed to transgress!
$10 – Bored us to death…
Looking for inspiration? Look no further than the
latest incarnation of Pearls Over Shanghai!

I had the opportunity to see it while I was in
San Francisco recently, and it was such a
joy. Marvelous cast, wonderful costumes
and music – I loved every second of it.
If you get a chance, the run has been
extended through December 19th,
so go! I really cannot implore you enough,
and if this doesn’t convince you, I don’t know
what will. Really now, see here:
“Pearls Over Shanghai,” an original musical by Link Martin and
Richard “Scrumbly” Koldewyn, is the centerpiece of our second
annual Theatre of the Ridiculous Revival, and marks the 40th
anniversary of the formation of The Cockettes, a gender-bending
theatrical troupe who not only originated this show, but also exerted
a profound influence on the culture of our times, from the phenomenon
of midnight movies to glitter rock stars and their outrageous fashions.
Based loosely on John Colton’s scandalous 1926 Broadway play
“The Shanghai Gesture” (later transformed into a deliriously decadent
art deco film noir by Josef von Sternberg in 1941), “Pearls Over Shanghai”
is a comic mock-operetta about white slavery and miscegenation set in the
colorful world of 1937 Shanghai, China. Link Martin parts the bamboo curtain,
his politics swept aside by his love of the mystery and intrigue of the Orient.
Placing his story at the crossroads of good and evil, his exotic “old sin town”
is filled with singing sailors, witty whores, foolish immortals, handmaidens
and henchmen, all taking their places in streets teeming with a mix of
foreign aristocrats, opium addicts, and gangland slave-trade czars.

We had the very good fortune of stumbling upon original Cockettes
member, the legendary Rumi Missabu having a smoke and preparing
for her role as Madame Gin-Sling. What a treat! Rumi is an utter delight
– very gracious and charming, with golden talons and mighty bosoms.
The light was slowly leaching into duskiness, but I managed to get in
a few good ones. The full set is here: Cockettes – Pearls Over Shanghai
Ah, Lili Frustrata! Played by (I believe) Eric Wertz, who utterly
captivated me with the song “Apples and Wontons” So divine.
Lili’s paramour was played by a dear and long-lost friend from
New Orleans, Flynn DeMarco, who also plays a mean ukulele!
Beautiful Jean, who kindly rescued my favorite earring from the asphalt.
Shanghai hookers! Love their macquillage! Fringe beards for life!
Truly not to be missed, folks. An adorable little
old gay grampa whispered to me after the show,
“I was there for the the original Cockettes performance
of this show, and well – I thought this was even better!”
It’s true, I guess I was expecting everyone to be on acid
and ad-libbing their lines and falling off the stage (like it
used to be!) We thought it would be loads of fun, but not
necessarily good, you know? Well! They showed us, no?
If you’re still craving more, here’s a passel of videos to get you going:

If you still haven’t seen the Cockettes documentary, please get that sorted
out immediately! It’s very illuminating. The trailer is a bit skippy, alas.

A video of make-up stills from various performances. These are a bit old,
(the make-up’s actually far better now), but good for inspiration!

Oh, Hibiscus – resplendent in Les Ghouls!

An enjoyable snippet.

One comment

You sure know how to have a good time lady! “…golden talons and mighty bosoms” – is possibly the best descriptive, ever.
I look forward to hearing how your night of tranarchy goes – I am sure, like all your insanely wonderful endeavors, it will be a grand success!

by mlle ghoul on October 2, 2010 at 5:46 am. Reply #

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