By Jeff Walsh
The Kinsey Sicks ended its recent round of touring with a one-night-only engagement of "Condoleezapalooza," a show has been performed in tandem with "I Wanna Be A Republican" around North America for quite some time now.
The highlight of the show wasn't musical, however. It came toward the end of the night, as Winnie (Irwin Keller) pointed out former members of The Kinsey Sicks in the audience, and then announced that Trampolina (aka Chris Dilley) is joining that illustrious group. The news brought Dilley an immediate, heartfelt standing ovation from the appreciative hometown crowd. Because, after a while, the lines all sort of disappear and we all felt like a good friend announced he was leaving town. So, our loss will be New York City's gain, as Dilley starts auditioning to perform onstage as a boy (or not, he knows his way around in heels).
The announcement brought me back to the New Conservatory Theatre nine years earlier, where I saw Dilley's first time onstage with the group. He was the understudy for Vaselina, who left the group a short time later. They actually found one another because Dilley was performing in the gay musical "The Ballad of Little Mikey" in the next theater over, which shared a dressing room with the Kinseys.
Dilley's first Kinseys show always sticks in my mind because during one song, there was a piece of choreography where the girls lift up their skirts to show the audience their underwear. Except Dilley forgot his. Don't get the wrong idea, he had stockings on and all, so you didn't see anything but a flesh-colored area, but he got embarrassed when it was pointed out to him, leading to his first lesson that the magic of a Kinsey Sicks performance is often found when things go wrong. The last song they performed on Saturday night was "Sexy Underwear," so after the show, I told Dilley I'd seen the whole run from "no underwear" to "Sexy Underwear," and wished him well on his new career path.
As for the show itself, well there's no such thing as a bad Kinsey show in my mind. If anything, it seems like "I Wanna Be A Republican" had more of a framing device holding it together (the girls were hosting a GOP fundraiser before Bush arrived to speak), but also limited the song choice as a result, whereas "Condoleezapalooza" was a bit more spare on connective tissue dramatically (some GOP stuff, but mainly about life on the road), that gave them access to a more diverse song selection.
The show opened with "Dragapella," sung to the tune of Handel's Messiah, and also featured crowd pleasers like "I've Been Through Parasites (But I've Never Had V.D.)," "Be A Slut," "We Arm The World," and "Everybody Loves A Drag Queen."
As the group heads into the studio this week to work on a new CD, they treated the crowd to some new songs, as well. "My Hair" gave Rachel (Ben Schatz) a chance to wear a merkin and skewer this Cabaret favorite. "Sisters" from Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" became a tour de force featuring Dilley and Jeff Manabat (Trixie) as cute, bubbly, umm... well... "Fisters." "Send in the Clones" rounded out the Broadway skewering.
Following in the tradition of "Begonia's Song" and "Jerry's Song," the Kinseys prove they can play for the heartstrings with "Mariposa." I am still perplexed why there is no live or studio recording of the Kinseys singing "Begonia's Song" backed by a gay men's chorus, but I know it will happen someday.
Their new CD will come out later this year, although the live DVD of "I Wanna Be A Republican" is available now (review coming later this week).
For more information on the Kinsey Sicks, visit them online.