Lipstick and Beards

You fucking kids. You’ll never know what it was like before hippie drag theater queens romped on the stages of San Francisco. You’ll think there have always been outrageous pounds of glitter parading around for national banks to co-opt at Pride time. The people who invented all this shit for you, however, know perfectly well what it was like. They know that as late as the 1970s, drag was restricted to Mae West shows only, gays and straights did not ever speak, and something had to be done about the restrictive joylessness of the Nixon years. The Cockettes, David Weissman and Bill Weber’s documentary, shows you damn whippersnappers exactly who made the world groovier. Show some respect! Featured talking head John Waters isn’t known to encourage respect, of course. Instead, he points out how much he (along with Truman Capote, Rex Reed, and other A-gays of the '70s) loved seeing the Cockettes’ whacked stage shows such as Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma. “It was complete sexual anarchy. Which is always a wonderful thing,” he tattles. One of the 'ettes' original plays, Pearls over Shanghai, has recently become an extremely long-running hit. Members of the cast, which includes two original Cockettes, appear at these screenings. Do not fear nudity or facepaint!
Sept. 7-9, 7 & 9:15 p.m., 2010

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