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

Just Posted

The fate of San Francisco nicotine giant Juul remains to be seen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to allow certain flavored vape products on the market. <ins>(Jeenah Moon/New York Times)</ins>
How the vape king of teen nicotine addiction rose and fell in San Francisco

‘Hey, Juul, don’t let the door hit you on the way out’

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Most Read