Best Drag Queen - 2009
Vicki Marlane at Aunt Charlie's
San Francisco, CA 94102
Weekends at Aunt Charlie's Lounge aren't for everybody. This Tenderloin gay joint is where you go when you need a solitary seat by the bar and a drink made with whatever gin it's pouring. A sense of nostalgia permeates the air, which is maybe why it's become the go-to place for retro kicks — whether for DJ Bus Station John's bathhouse-disco party on Thursdays or for the old-school drag show featuring the Hot Boxxx Girls on Fridays and Saturdays. The girls are all worth a look, but the one to watch is the inimitable Vicki Marlane, who's been doing drag for 59 years. She's nicknamed "The Girl with the Liquid Spine," and when you see her you'll know why: Whether lip synching to Celine Dion or Whitney Houston, she undulates fiercely, like a sequined cobra in a trance.