Kinsey Sicks: Lady Cocks of Bang Boys

★★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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2016KINSEYS GD
Published 21 August 2016

"America's favourite dragapella beautyshop quartet", the Kinsey Sicks have been terrifying and delighting audiences since the early nineties, though their current line-up boasts only one original member. Very much the heart of the act, Ben Schatz is a Harvard-trained civil rights lawyer who advised Bill Clinton on his HIV policy in the 1992 presidential campaign. He's now a full time performer, but activism remains close to his art.

While the Ladyboys of Bangkok—after whom this run through the group's back catalogue takes its name—are an enormously popular, crowd pleasing sideshow, Schatz continues to steer his drag collective toward increasingly confrontational territory. The Kinseys are an act with a clear liberal bent, whose outrageous persona is a Trojan horse for serious political comment and a shield from behind which gay men can impose socially transgressive ideas upon straight society.

All four are seasoned performers, but gel as a cohesive unit, seguing comfortably from song to song. Parodies of well known tunes get the biggest laughs, but it's the quartet's self penned material that demonstrates the extent of their talent and evokes notions of a queer folk music. Their costumes and makeup may be a deliberately grotesque take on 1950s kitsch but Rachel, Winnie, Trixie and Trampolina show nothing but respect for the Doo Wop by which that decade is partly defined.