Faux Real


Through May 9. $15-$20; 704-3260 or
Climate Theater, 285 Ninth St. (at Folsom), S.F.

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If you needed more signs that San Francisco bends gender rules other places don't even know exist yet, one of the hardest-working drag queens currently working the stage at Climate Theater boasts that she is actually a woman. Yet Monique Jenkinson — aka Fauxnique, also Miss Trannyshack 2003 — doesn't belabor the point, or even mention it in her 90-minute show. She lets audiences decide for themselves, not only whether they believe she's a biological female (her program bio says she is), but also what it means to be authentic in her drag world — or any world, for that matter. Jenkinson gives us rich little glimpses into that world by letting us in on the labor-intensive wig and makeup applications while she peppers us with stories from her past and present. The numbers flows easily between touching and lewd — one piece set to an interview with Maria Callas and a loving skewering of Madonna's many religious conversions are standouts. And the bits she shares about her life – such as the 20 albums that made her gay, or the copy of Miss Piggy's Guide to Life her mother gave her at age 10 — offer just enough of a taste of whoever the real Monique Jenkinson is to leave us wanting more.

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