If you can’t bear to sit through another rendition of “Nutcracker” or watch one more round of familial yuletide discord play out on the silver screen, there’s an alternative entertainment option this holiday season courtesy of the folks atCounterPULSE.
Billed as the “only-in-San Francisco” festival of queer high-art, the hybrid showcase “Frolic” combines the world of circus, drag and burlesque into an evening of performance that’s, well, anything but a retelling of “A Christmas Carol.”
After its sold-out debut run last year, “Frolic” returns Friday with a diverse lineup of underground talent handpicked by Jessica Robinson, the executive director of CounterPULSE.
“I’m always looking for something new. I was noticing that I was really excited about what was happening in clubs, bars and in alternative venues,” Robinson says. “I wanted to bring what I was seeing to our performance space and to a wider audience.”
The second installment of “Frolic” features the returnof some familiar faces. Fauxinque, the first faux drag queen to win the Miss Trannyshack tile, will share the stage with fellow Trannyshack champs Suppositori Spelling and Raya Light. Dreamboat, Where Are You?, the comedic punky performance rock duo Jessica Fudim and Carrie Baum, reign as hosts this time around.
But there are some fresh faces on the bill, too.
New this year is Boylesque, the all-male burlesque troupe known for its tribute to Germany’s Weimar period of art and culture and the Twilight Vixen Revue, San Francisco’s own celebrated ensemble of queer-identified showgirls. Audiences will also be treated to the high-flying antics of trapeze artist Emily Leap and aerial contortionist David Garcia.
“For me, the representation in ‘Frolic’ is a real zeitgeist of San Francisco,” says Robinson.
“It’s very queer, very fun, politically charged and very much an experience of high art all rolled into one show.”
Besides showcasing the talents of underground performances artists, “Frolic” also serves as a benefit for CounterPULSE’s mission to support grassroots arts and culture endeavors in San Francisco; the show will feature an auction and raffle fundraiser.
“Theaudience is going to get a pretty great sampler of counterculture performance; it’s a real holiday smorgasbord and it’s definitely not another ‘Nutcracker,’” Robinson says. “This show is definitely going to challenge audiences to think, but it’s also going to make them laugh and have a good time.
Where: CounterPULSE,1310 Mission St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Friday to Sunday