Raunchy, outrageous and undeniably, gloriously, tasteless (as you might expect from the title), writer D’Arcy Drollinger’s “S— and Champagne” is nonstop funny,
Drollinger also directed the show (with Laurie Bushman), produced it and stars in it. Billed as “whitesploitation comedy with dance” — a sendup of the sexploitation films of the 1970s — and broadly, hilariously presentational in style, it’s full of slapstick (and potty) humor, wacky physical antics, witty sound effects, a dizzying array of costumes and wigs and the admirably polished performances of a group of actors, biologically male, playing both men and women.
The one exception to the male-only cast is Nancy French, who’s terrific in a few small, carefully crafted roles.
But then the entire cast is terrific.
The lead character, the much-divorced Champagne Horowitz Jones Dickerson White (Drollinger, towering in silvery heels and enormous, platinum-blond wig), a performer at the downscale Sha-Boom-Boom Room, gets inadvertently caught in the middle of a fiendish plot when her fiancé and her adopted half stepsister, Brandee (Steven LeMay), are murdered.
None too bright but determined to wreak revenge, Champagne’s up against two buffoonish goons, played by James Arthur M. and Adam Roy (who also plays a lustful, noir-style cop named Jack Hammer), the henchman of the evil bitch (a coolly diabolical Matthew Martin) who heads up an illicit escort service under the cover of a big-box discount store called Mal-Wart.
The plot unfurls over two acts in a series of scenes at various locations (like La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant-Bar-and-Donut Shop) and involves lots of chases, choreographed faux fights that tend to turn into disco-style dances, depictions of a new drug addiction called “booty bumps” (don’t ask) and of course sexual innuendos. And that’s all you really need to know about the plot.
The show played for five months last year and is back, with some new cast members, to inaugurate the newly transformed Oasis, a SOMA club, or “drag hub,” now owned by Drollinger and Heklina (of Trannyshack).
Patrons sit at little tables and can order drinks from the bar—the opening night audience was, presumably, happily sloshed, but not too sloshed to thoroughly enjoy the onstage mayhem.
Drollinger’s charisma, unerring sense of comic timing and wink-wink ease at interacting with the audience are infectious, and the ensemble is with him every prancing, preening step of the way.
Shit and Champagne
Presented by the Oasis
Where: Oasis, 298 11th St., S.F.
When: 7 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; closes Feb. 14
Tickets: $25 to $30