courtesy photoClockwise from left

courtesy photoClockwise from left

Drag Golden Girls back in the holiday spirit

Certain rituals signal the start of the Christmas season — holiday ice rinks, the Macy’s tree lighting, the return of “The Nutcracker” and nothing but holiday movies on the Hallmark Channel (leaving no room for “Golden Girls” reruns).

However, fans of Miami’s favorite grays still have reason to rejoice with “The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes,” onstage beginning today at the Victoria Theatre.

“It has become an annual pilgrimage for many,” says Matthew Martin, who plays Southern belle Blanche Devereaux in the beloved stage show, which he also directs. “It truly is a family show, inclusive of everyone. The characters Dorothy, Sophia, Blanche and Rose are like family to them as well, so it’s truly a Christmas party.”

Featuring drag luminaries and “Trannyshack” favorites — Heklina (Dorothy), Cookie Dough (Sophia), Martin (Blanche) and Pollo Del Mar (Rose) — in two new, Christmas-themed “Golden Girls” episodes, the show runs 12 performances. Today’s opening night benefits AIDS Housing Alliance/SF.

This year, the show recreates twofer episode “Rose the Prude/Blanche and the Younger Man” and fan favorite “Ladies of the Evening,” in which the girls are incarcerated on a morals charge.

“The Golden Girls” stage show debuted in 2005 in the Western Addition Victorian home of former cast member Mike Finn. It began selling out Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory and CounterPULSE before settling at the Victoria Theatre in 2011.

While the re-enactments are mostly faithful, the performers do take some liberties with the material.

“These are two new episodes for the cast and audience and there’s some nips and tucks with addition of material from other episodes,” Martin says.

To transform into Blanche, the actor and San Francisco native — perhaps best known for his Bette Davis impersonations — says all it takes is an audience, a pair of heels and a push-up bra.

“With Blanche, of course, there’s the sexy, sassy, fun character,” he added, “and Southern is always fun to play.”

As the youngest of six children, Martin fondly remembers his earliest Christmas performances, dancing around the living room to Christmas records for his large, extended family.

Like Christmas, now-classic “Golden Girls” episodes also bring back warm memories.

“Almost 30 years later, we can’t get enough of the reruns on TV and love to celebrate them onstage,” he says. “There is certainly a warm, cozy, nostalgic feel to the show. It goes back to the top-notch comedic writing and four brilliant comedians. Plus, the human issues, the laughs, the fits and fights and resolutions remain humanly the same. We can all relate to all of it.”

IF YOU GO

The Gold Girls: The Christmas Episodes

Where: Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Sundays; closes Dec. 22

Tickets: $30

Contact: www.trannyshack.comartsGolden Girls: The Christmas EpisodesMatthew MartinVictoria Theatre

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

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Protesters rally at the site of a proposed affordable housing project at 2550 Irving St. in the Sunset District on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
Sunset District affordable housing discussion flooded with ‘scare tactics and hysteria’

Project would provide 100 units, some of which would be designated for formerly homeless families

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Rainy weather is expected in the coming week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Rainstorms, potential atmospheric river expected to drench Bay Area in coming week

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Multiple rainstorms, cold temperatures some… Continue reading

U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s powerful reading was among the highlights of Inauguration Day. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Inauguration shines light in this never-ending shade

Here’s to renewal and resolve in 2021 and beyond

Most Read