Categories: Performing Arts

‘Star Trek’ parody provides comic relief 

On opening night of the Drag Kings’ wacky and wonderful parody of “Turnabout Intruder” — the final episode of the original “Star Trek” TV series from 1969 — the audience comprised Trekkies as well as regular patrons of the venue, the SOMA nightclub Oasis.

Whatever your persuasion, the show, written and directed by Oasis co-owner D’Arcy Drollinger, ought to tickle your funny bone.

In this episode, which is lifted almost verbatim from the TV script — plus raunchy ad libs and asides, physical buffoonery and clever tweaking — Captain Kirk’s erstwhile lover, one Dr. Janice Lester, somehow manages to exchange bodies with him in a diabolical attempt to take over the starship Enterprise. She’s frustrated by being trapped forever in a female body, you see, and thus never to command a starship of her own.

Kirk must reclaim his own body and rid the spaceship of Lester and her accomplice, the malevolent Dr. Coleman. The great fun is in seeing how well the women in the cast embody the iconic male characters in this goofy send-up.

Leigh Crow, for example, is an uncanny William Shatner lookalike (from the neck up) and completely nails his spastic-staccato line delivery and his heroic, steely eyed mannerisms.

Then, there’s Zelda Koznofski, as Dr. “Bones” McCoy, with the perpetual raised eyebrow and stern, squinty glance; Allison Johnson’s pointy-eared, unflappable Mr. Spock, forever posing stiffly with his hands behind his back; and Emily French’s Scotty with a brogue so impenetrable that after one of the Scotsman’s long, impassioned speeches, McCoy is forced to shriek, “I didn’t understand a word you just said!”

Equally great in smaller women-as-men roles are Laurie Bushman, as the creepy ersatz Dr. Coleman, and Carol Ann Walker as Chekov.

And Drollinger rocks his role as a toweringly tall and pouty-mouthed Dr. Janice Lester in spike heels, with every possible sexual innuendo exploited to the max.

Staged on Sarah Phykitt’s low-tech set, the show features wonderfully tacky costumes (by Carrie Davis) and props, plus a “Star Trek”-faithful sound score (by Sarah Witsch).

Others in the cast are Ammo Eisu as Sulu, his voice just as deep and mellifluous as George Takai’s, and Dene Larson as a platinum-wigged nurse whose main job is to wander aimlessly across the stage during scene changes with a perpetually puzzled and vacant gaze that is somehow hilarious.

“Star Trek Live!” is a panacea in these troubling times, and, who knows, may even help you live long and prosper.

Star Trek Live!
Presented by the Drag Kings
Where: The Oasis, 298 11th St., S.F.
When: 7 p.m. Fridays-Sundays, closes March 17
Tickets: $27 to $40

Jean Schiffman

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Jean Schiffman

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