Can’t go wrong with these ‘Golden Girls’

Last week, while thousands were lining up in San Francisco’s Civic Center to see Conan O’Brien, others waited in the rain outside a Fillmore district mansion to catch an all-drag stage production of “The Golden Girls.”

The show, which stars a host of San Francisco drag queens, continues through May 19 in the historic home at 814 Grove St.

Local drag legend Heklina, who presides over San Francisco’s popular Tuesday night club Trannyshack and co-produced this version of the iconic sitcom, says audiences have responded overwhelmingly. Nobody has been turned away, and two shows have been added to the performance schedule.

“With all that’s going on in the world right now, people don’t want to think about a theater production,” says Heklina, who appears as Dorothy, the divorced substitute teacher immortalized by Bea Arthur. “They just want to be entertained. That’s what we’re doing with ‘The Golden Girls.’”

Matthew Martin, who channels Rue McClanahan, who played the promiscuous Southern belle Blanche, finds the breadth of the show’s popularity particularly intriguing.

“Of course, everyone in the cast loves ‘The Golden Girls,’” says Martin, who also directs this production, which features two full episodes of the popular 1984-91 sitcom about four lovable Miami retirees. “But Iwas surprised by how much other people love this show, too. It’s not just women and gay men, as I expected. Even my father knows it!”

Cookie Dough, hostess of long-running Castro District dragstravaganza “The Monster Show,” plays the Sicilian Sophia, the sassy senior portrayed by Estelle Getty on TV.

Wide-eyed stage newcomer Pollo DelMar embodies Rose, the naïve St. Olaf native made so endearing by Betty White, while Mike Finn, owner of the experimental “salon-style” theater space, is a scene-stealing guest star.</p>

More than half of the run’s shows are already sold out. Co-producer Dough attributes a portion of that to the production’s campy, poorly-Photoshopped promotional photo running on the Web site of the VH1 television series “Best Week Ever.”

Others in the cast see no need to explain the production’s success: “It’s drag queens in San Francisco doing ‘The Golden Girls,’” deadpans Heklina, “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why this show is doing well.”

The Golden Girls

Where: 814 Grove St. (between Fillmore and Webster streets), San Francisco

When: 8 and 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Tickets: $15, cash only

Contact: www.Trannyshack.com

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

People came out in numbers to memorialize George Floyd, who was fatally shot by police, outside San Francisco City Hall on June 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD prepares for possible protests as Chauvin trial continues

Police to schedule community meetings, provide officers with crowd control training

Mayor London Breed said Tuesday that with other counties moving ahead with expanding vaccine eligibility “we want San Franciscans to have the same opportunity.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Everyone in SF ages 16 and up is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

San Francisco expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday to everyone ages… Continue reading

San Francisco Park Rangers have seen their budget and staffing levels increase significantly since 2014. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Citations for being in SF’s public parks after midnight soar

Data shows disproportionate impact on Black residents

Central City SRO Collective tenant leader Reggie Reed, left, and Eddie Ahn, executive director of Brightline Defense, were among those distributing environmental awareness posters throughout the Tenderloin, Mid-Market and South of Market neighborhoods. (Courtesy Central City SRO Collaborative)
Environmental dangers are connected to racism

Let’s attack problems with better policies, greater awareness

Most Read