Randy Roberts

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

San Francisco lacks housing data that would let it track rental vacancies and prices. New legislation is seeking to change that.<ins> (Photo by Joel Angel Jurez/2016 Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Landlords blast proposal to require annual report on rentals as invasion of privacy

Housing inventory could give city better data on housing vacancies, affordability

University of San Francisco head coach Todd Golden coaches his team on defense during a 2019 gameat War Memorial Gymnasium on the campus of the University of San Francisco. (Ryan Gorcey / S.F. Examiner)
Stunner in Bubbleville: USF upsets fourth-ranked Virginia

Less than 48 hours removed from a loss to a feeble UMass… Continue reading

Health care workers would be the first group in the state to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images/TNS)
Hope on the way: Here’s what to know about California’s COVID-19 vaccine plan

The first batch of doses could hit the state as soon as early December

The Big Game was played Friday at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. (Shutterstock)
Stanford blocks extra point to stun Cal, win 123rd Big Game 24-23

The 123rd edition of the Big Game featured a number of firsts.… Continue reading

Psilocybin magic mushrooms (Shutterstock)
‘Magic mushrooms’ moving into the mainstream

Efforts to decriminalize psychedelics could follow several different paths

Most Read