The Kinsey Sicks premiere an updated version of their hilarious musical comedy hit, Electile Dysfunction, The Kinsey Sicks for President at the Main Stage of Act II Stages this week. Rachel, Trampolina, Trixie and Winnie campaign to become the first Dragapella Quartet to be elected President of the United States on the Republican ticket.
The Kinsey Sicks are an a cappella quartet who bill themselves as “America’s Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet”. They perform both original music and lyrics as well as parodies of well-known songs. Their shows are both comedic and highly politically charged. Their name is a play of words on “Kinsey 6”, the end of the Kinsey scale defined as exclusively homosexual. The term Dragapella is a registered U.S. trademark of the group.
The Kinsey Sicks began in 1993 when a group of five friends (mostly lawyers and professional activists) attended a Bette Midler concert in San Francisco dressed as the Andrews Sisters. Assuming they’d be among many drag queens, they were actually the only ones. That night they were approached by a woman who asked them to perform at her 50th birthday party. Though their initial response was, “we don’t sing,” the group was surprised to learn that all of them had previous musical experience.
Since its beginning in the 90’s, the Kinsey Sicks has undergone several changes with two of the original members still part of the group. Each member of the group performs a fully realized character, and as new members have joined, they have been encouraged to personally expand and develop their own “history”.
The current members of the Kinsey Sicks are:
Ben Schatz as “Rachel” (1993–present) – Schatz, a Harvard-trained civil rights lawyer and former Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, created the first national AIDS legal project and authored Bill Clinton’s HIV policy during the 1992 presidential campaign. He is now a full-time performer as a member of the Sicks. His character, “Rachel”, is loudly feminist, angry, and an activist noted both for her diminutive stature, muscular build, and her refusal to shave her underarms.
Jeff Manabat as “Trixie” (2004–present) – Manabat, a professional musical theater-performer and graduate of UC-Berkeley, was discovered by the then-current members of the group while performing in a production of When Pigs Fly at the New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco. The Asian American Manabat’s casting as Trixie means that the character has actually had three ethnicities over the years. Since joining the group, Manabat is responsible for musical arrangements, Trixie’s inordinate glamour and soaring counter-tenor, as well as the entire group’s hot couture. Manabat’s “Trixie” is glamorous, and somewhat conceited, frequently referring to the other members of the group as “backup singers”.
Spencer Brown as “Trampolina” (October 2008 – present) – The Kinsey Sicks were joined in October 2008 by Spencer Brown, a Kansas City-based actor and singer, already known for his drag character Daisy Bucket (pronounced “bouquet”). His character, “Trampolina”, is dim but sweet and sometimes slutty. Spencer is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York.
Nathan Marken as “Winnie” (October 2014 – present) – Nathan Marken replaced Irwin Keller, who originated the role of Winnie. Nathan, based out of San Francisco, comes from a musical theatre background and adds a saucy charm to Winine’s already lovable dorky persona.
The Kinsey Sicks performed their irreverent, holiday show, Oy Vey In A Manager, in December on the Main Stage to sold-out performances. They are thrilled to be debuting their updated show, Electile Dysfunction at the Main Stage on Tuesday, January 26th at 9:30 pm. The other scheduled performances will be at 9:30 pm on Jan. 28, 30, Feb. 2, 4, 6, 10, 11 and 13.
The original version of Electile Dysfunction was toured around the United States and received very postive reviews. The Washington Post said of the original show: “The songs are marvels… pun-filled and sung in four-part harmony – a cappella, let’s remember – with a good deal of wit in the arrangements.”
The Washington City Paper said: “This isn’t, let’s note, just innocent political buffoonery. Often a joke that starts out mild (“The ‘moderate’ in ‘moderate Republican’ is silent, like the ‘p’ in ‘psoriasis'”) will end up having a surprisingly pointed kicker (“…or the ‘Judeo’ in ‘Judeo-Christian.'”).
The Maryland Theatre Guide acclaimed “[the] group’s signature tight harmonies” and gave Electile Dysfunction five stars out of five.
With the political race heating up and a variety of assorted political candidates running for the U.S. presidency, this show is a timely political satire that audiences will enjoy. Don’t miss Electile Dysfunction where drag meets a cappalla harmonies in a hilarious satire of American politics. It sounds like a winning combination for an evening of amusing entertainment!
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