People are surprised that , except for the occasional fundraiser at a local bar, I have never been to a full blown drag show here in San Francisco the entire time that I have lived in the bay area.
This changed for me last night and I discovered something wonderful in this city that I love in a place called Marlena’s. I was invited by one of the performers to attend a show there. Marlena’s has been a mainstay for some of San Francisco’s most famous and most talented drag performers.
I met Ana Mae Cox earlier in the evening at the Toad Hall in the Castro and it was the first time I was able to meet “her” in person. She was accompanied by her friends Alan and Moe Jo. They were the nicest and sweetest guys. Later Logan joined the group and he also was such a cool guy. So by the time I arrived at Marlena’s I felt welcomed by such great people.
Now Marlena’s was still decorated for the holidays…the ceiling was covered with Santa figures hanging from it and every nook and cranny had a Santa figurine of some sort. It was like an Alice in Wonderland scene on over drive.
The show started with emcee, Miss Galilea. She had biting humor that kept the momentum going and she performed some great numbers. The other drag performers were memorable. However, I was floored when I saw my friend, Ana Mae Cox, take the stage with each of her performances. She stole the show.
She simply did not lip sync her songs, she made them her own and really drew on some emotional center that brought it to life. It drew the audience into her performances. She was a performer in the truest sense of theater.
I have seen talent like this on stage and screen. Ana Mae Cox has that “IT” factor. I was visibly moved by some of her numbers. When she performed “When You Touch Me” by Celine Dion, I actually felt the meaning of the song more than I ever did with Celine. It surprised me.
Her Britney performance was great and was a crowd favorite.
Here was this talent in this bar in this place in San Francisco. More people need to see these performances. Many people, including some in the LGBT community, look down on the whole drag scene. That is too bad. I am amazed by it. I take pride that it is part of our community.
I think that the really good performers in drag are perhaps the most consummate actors and probably can take any role given them. Also, these performers have done so much to raise funds for the LGBT community. They also are in the forefront of many LGBT causes.
I was privileged to have been able to watch such wonderful talent last night. I am especially grateful that we have a wonderful performer named Ana Mae Cox in our city and in our community. Straight or gay, you need to catch her act, you deserve to see what makes this city we live in and work in great!
Ana Mae Cox, keep performing, baby! You are a Star!