Randy Roberts

He’s a glam man

Randy Roberts is a pro at juggling personalities.

On any given night, the performer will sift through a dozen famous folks — Joan Crawford, Mae West, Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers, Bette Midler and Cher, to name a few.

What’s the secret to Roberts’ three decades of success as a female impersonator? Determination, high heels, good wigs and “a hell of a lot of lip gloss,” he jokes.

This month, he’s appearing at two locations in The City. He’s doing his lounge act — packed with dazzling visuals and uncanny vocalizations — at the Alcove Theater and teaming with jazz pianist Tammy Hall at Martuni’s.

“I think it’s been a combination of perseverance, a lot of luck,” Robert adds about his showbiz longevity. “I’ve always tried to be a little bit different than everyone else, and I don’t go too far over the line in either direction. I’m not too gross and I am not too white bread. But I teeter on the line. I try to stay as tasteful as possible. Well, I may stretch the definition of taste, but …”

Born in Norfolk, Va., and raised in Virginia Beach — he’s currently based in Key West, Fla., where he performs regularly — Roberts’ first professional show was back in 1986.

“I was working on one of those harbor cruise ships on the East Coast and we got off the boat in Newport Beach, Fla., and saw a drag show,” he recalls. “Afterward, I walked up to the director and said, ‘I can do that!’ I hung up my apron and put on my heels — and just kept going.

“After a while I realized, ‘Well, I am not going to go back into the theater because I don’t want to be an out-of-work actor waiting on tables.’ So I kept working and here I am.”

IF YOU GO

Randy Roberts Live!

Where: Alcove Theatre, 414 Mason St., fifth floor, S.F.

When: 9 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, closes Nov. 2

Tickets: $40

Contact: (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com

Note: Roberts also appears at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 and Oct. 28 at Martuni’s, 4 Valencia St., S.F.; tickets are $20.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

Plummeting Bay Area bridge traffic finally levels off

All told, weekday Bay Area traffic volumes are down by half, which has remained consistent from March 23 through this week.

Second deputy at SF Hall of Justice jail tests positive as inmate count shrinks

Doctor says inmate count needs to fall further to mitigate potential outbreak

Breed pushes volunteer opportunities to help isolated seniors as coronavirus spreads

Seniors and those living with disabilities are most susceptible to severe impacts of the coronavirus and are advised to remain home.

Confusion swirls over uneven eviction protections as rent collection begins

Housing advocates warn some type of rental assistance or forgiveness will be necessary

National Guard sets up hospital beds at San Mateo County Event Center

The triage center is intended as backup if COVID-19 cases surge in the coming weeks

Most Read