Posts Tagged ‘drag queens’

Drag Queen Film Viewer Comments

February 2nd, 2011 No comments

Audience With The Queens really humanizes a very interesting group of outrageous characters. It left me wanting more.”

Scot Hoard, Program Director, Key West Film Society

Samantha, Sushi, Robbie Hopcraft, Gugi Gomez and Gassy Winds

Miami Intl. Film Festival Screens Drag Queen Film

May 19th, 2010 No comments

wow…check out this link  some good news on the drag queen film

Drag Queen Film Accepted

Get The Drag Queen Film

March 4th, 2010 No comments

Gassy, Sushi, Samantha and Robbie (the director)

Come see an eye opening, fun and entertaining film about the lives and experiences of a very diverse group of Drag Queen performers in Key West, Florida.

This documentary film goes into the world of drag queens and brings to the audience insight into what drag queens are all about.  The film gives real perspective into the personalities behind the drag queen persona.

The drama behind their stories will draw the audience in and make them want to know these talented and creative men who men who dress up in woman’s clothing and perform.  The film makes the viewer aware of different lifestyles that make up our society and allows for a greater sense of understanding, compassion and acceptance of others who are quite different that most of us.

Drag Queen Fashion….Really? …

February 28th, 2010 No comments

Well now , here’s something a bit different that what the talented drag queens of key west would bring to the stage. But then, it takes all kinds of talent to make the world go round baby…and this can’t compare to what the drag queens, inspired by the designs of Sushi – the design queen of this bunch of drag queens, would ever wear on stage when performing..

this is fashion ?? i'm not so sure !

Last night’s The A*Muse fashion show by Richie Rich in New York was quite a sight to see. Richie, who is the better  half of the outrageous design team Heatherette, brought the aesthetic and the models he’s famous for using to this show too, and while there’s not a ton for us to look at here, it at least looks… crazy?

 Pamela Anderson, Amanda Lepore, Tinsley Mortimer, glitter, spandex…  This is fun, and some good fashion photos, but not a whole lot of talent going on here.  Enjoy !!

Drag Queens Take The Bus!!

February 26th, 2010 No comments

London — Kathryn Hoffman

My face still hurts from smiling (and singing)!!

How do you transform a cult classic where one of the main characters is a giant pink bus into a stage production? Well, friends, the brilliant minds of the West End have done it with “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.”

Michael was already in London, so Carol and I grabbed the express into Waterloo last night, and we went to the thea-ta!  From the opening strains of “Never Been to Me” where the three “real” singers descend slowly from the ceiling in their 3-foot high wigs and strapless sequin costumes (one of them was a big girl, so I give points right away) as Tick/Mitzi strips out of his man clothes and becomes an over-the-top drag queen right before your eyes, I knew I was gonna love this. Mother would have loved it too.

The same costume designer who won the Oscar for the movie did the designs for the show, and she’ll win the Tony too. More wonderful songs than the original soundtrack and absolutely outstanding performances. Musical number after musical number after musical number. And big costume changes with each number. And men who look like they’re wearing those muscle-y Halloween costumes, but they’re not! Remember “Shirl” whom Bernadette drank under the table and the ping-pong princess? They’re all here!

Then even after I GET that there’s a giant bus on stage, open on one side so you get full interior scenes, HOW are they going to transform her after the horrible “f— you faggots” graffiti into the pink
princess?  I won’t say, but it works. About a million different ways!

Confetti bombs and audience members dancing on stage (to “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”) and feathers everywhere. Even the giant glittery shoe on the top of the bus with Felicia atop it singing opera while her parachute-sized scarf trails behind… .

Drag Queen Film Premiere at the Tropic Cinema

February 22nd, 2010 No comments

The premiere film screening of “Audience with the Queens” at the Tropic Cinema in Key West, Florida on wed. Feb 17th was absolutely fantastic. The weather was very brisk for Key West, it’s usually nice and warm during the winters here, but this year has been an extreme exception. I was freezing cold while heading to the theatre on my scooter. My beret pilled down over my ears, scarf wrapped around my neck, gloves on my hands, and my girlfriend hugging me on the back, we arrived with a little frost on our noses.

The STARS make an entrance to the Theatre

The place was buzzing with excitement, lots of people were lined up to get tickets, and there were many already inside the theatre. The drag queens led by the star, Sushi, made their grand entrance with the camera rolling. The other drag queens, Samantha, Gugi, Gassy and Deja’ all looked fabulous and had big smiles on their faces as they posed and made clever remarks to each other and to all within earshot. They are so witty, and the banter that goes on amongst them is really quite the show in itself.

 The theatre manager told me the screening was SOLD OUT in advance, so all who were still in line to get tickets were very disappointed. The best part of that is the film “Audience with the Queens” is playing at the Theatre for the entire week so the ones who missed out on opening night will still be able to see the film.

 The film profiles a very diverse group of drag queens who live and perform onstage here in Key West at the 801 Cabaret Club on Duval Street. The group is led by Sushi, the drag mother to many and the beauty and brains who makes the show go for these drag queens. Sushi makes the schedule and hosts many of the shows herself and she the one who has to give them hell If they screw up, or in some cases, get drunk and don’t show up! The film gives the audience some perspective on what a drag queen is and what they’re all about. They are an interesting subculture to explore and I know I’ve certainly learned much about them and in doing so have come to enjoy them very much !

The film stars make there appearance

 The theatre GM asked me to speak for a few minutes before the screening and give my perspective on why and how I came to do this particular film. It is a good story, but that’s for another day. I spoke before the film screened and talked a little of how I came to get the idea for the documentary and how I got involved with this group of drag queens.

One of the “stars” of the film, Destiny, passed away during the making of the film. She’s still a very prominent part of the film. After her death we filmed her funeral but I haven’t yet added that footage to the film. It was a sad day but drag queens have a different perspective on how to have a funeral.  Destiny’s dad was in attendance for the premiere, and in my remarks from the stage about the film, I dedicated the screening to “Destiny and her dad”. The only way I knew her dad was there was Destiny’s niece, who I met at the funeral, came up to me before the film started and told me. After the screening I made sure I met Destiny’s Dad and we had a nice conversation about his son. It was a very touching ending to a great evening.

The film screens at the Tropic for an entire week. Starting Feb 17th with two shows a day.  I think I’ll end here and continue this a bit later

Drag Queen Film Screens at the Tropic Cinema

February 20th, 2010 No comments

What:  the film screening for  “Audience with the Queens

When: starting today – Feb 19th and continuing all next week

Where: Tropic Cinema, Key West

Tickets: Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton St  Box office 305 295-9493

The documentary filmed right here in key west by Robbie Hopcraft, it tells the story about several of the drag queens who live and work in Key West.

what the boys wear when they be girls

 Starring the amazing Sushi, the film profiles the lives of 6 drag queens of the 801 Cabaret. It’s very entertaining and will give you reason to both laugh and cry.

 The film made its Key West premiere screening debut on Wed. Feb 17th at the Tropic Cinema and was SOLD OUT well in advance. Many who showed up intending to buy tickets at the door were disappointed to find out they the premiere was entirely sold out!!

The GOOD NEWS is that the film “Audience with the Queens” will screen for the whole next week. It begins tonight, Feb 19th and will have 2 shows a day for the next week

arriving at the premiere

 Call the Tropic box office for tickets and show times at 305 295-9493 or go online to

 Robbie Hopcraft

305 304-1609

Growing Up a Drag Queen

February 11th, 2010 No comments

The first time I wore women clothes was when I was six. I was hanging out with my mom on a lazy Sunday afternoon while my dad was out. She let me try on her evening gown and carry my favorite glittery purse of hers. As I pranced around on her bed, I playfully dubbed myself “the nightgown chicken.” In Cantonese, “chicken” is the slang for “prostitute.” My mom was cracking up. We both had so much fun. I remember I really enjoyed playing a character… being someone whom I’m not. She only let me do it that once; maybe she thought I enjoyed it to much.

Aaaw what a cute little drag queen

As a kid growing up, I was obsessed with female vampires and witches. I thought they were the most beautiful and scary characters, and I wanted to be beautiful and scary. I had a childhood ritual of putting myself to sleep by imagining myself as different characters. Very often I would become a vampire or a witch and make up some adventures until I fell asleep.

All during high school, I was obsessed with effeminate boys. I tried to befriend every effeminate boy in my grade. My best friend was reasonably effeminate, though he was too handsome to be picked on. Then there was this one boy that everybody picked on and gave him the nickname “Woman.” I thought he was so hot, so I really worked hard to be his friend. I was attracted to his effeminate beauty, his pale and flawless skin, his perfectly chiseled features, and his persecuted status. Much to my sad surprise, “Woman” got married and turned out to be straight.

The idea of wearing women clothes didn’t come up again until my sophomore year in college. It was the day before Halloween. I thought I had never dressed in full drag before, and it was about time. I shopped for a dress, a pair of flats and some make-up supplies. With a nightlong of anticipation, I bounced out of bed the next morning with excitement. I put on make-up, wore my dress and flats, and off I went to school. As I walked to school, no one seemed to even notice I was in drag. I could totally pass as a woman!

Shocking people was just instant gratification for me. I felt empowered being able to totally subvert people’s expectations. I had a blast going to school in drag. At night, I dressed up as a witch and went to a Halloween party. I grew my hair out, bought a bright floral print dress for the occasion, and bought my first pair of heels. The reality was I was on the top on the world without even knowing it. I was delirious. I was proud. I was out. I was queer. I was celebrating my life the way I wanted to and no one could stop me.

This is a familiar story for many young boys who are gay and want to express themselves and show their effeminate side. Some have the courage to show it and do, but many feel repressed and never feel comfortable, brave, or confident enough to do so.

Well, on a different note, let me tell you, that’s definitely NOT the case with the boys and men who perform in dresses in Key West, Florida at the 801 Cabaret Club on Duval St. There are some talented and amazingly creative performers that work the stage in the nightly drag queen shows at the Cabaret. Led by the amazing drag queen Sushi, the girls put on two shows every night to the delight of the locals and tourists alike who frequent the club. These boys are definitely “out” of the closet and love dressing as drag queens with all the makeup, high heels, big haired wigs and very lovely and creative dresses. These drag queens know how to perform and the audience loves it. 

A new award winning documentary film called , “Audience with the Queens” and produced and directed by Robbie Hopcraft has recently been released that tells the story of 6 drag queens who live, work and perform in Key West, Florida. The film delves into the lives and psyches of these men who perform on stage and who are very active in the community. You can read about the film by going to the film’s website:


Drag Queen Film at the Tropic Cinema

February 10th, 2010 No comments

 “Audience with the Queens”: A new, exciting and provocative film about the lives of the Drag Queens at 801 Cabaret in Key West.

 Key West, Florida—Fresh from a successful screening at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, the documentary film “Audience with the Queens” will have its premiere local screening at the Tropic Cinema on Wednesday evening, Feb 17 at 7 pm.

 When a straight guy like Robbie Hopcraft takes a look at the lives and experiences of drag queens, onstage and off, he comes up with an eye-opener that’s both informative and entertaining, regardless of where it’s showing.

“The screening at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival was incredible,” said Hopcraft. “The theatre was packed and the crowd not only applauded, they cheered and whistled after the film was over; it was really overwhelming and emotional, in fact, Gugi, one of the stars in the film was sitting with me during the screening and tears were welling in her eyes.” 

Girls and Boys Looking Good

 Hopcraft says drag queens work very hard, and they love to entertain:  “I think they got a great deal of enjoyment seeing themselves on the big screen. They were also a big hit at the cocktail party that followed the film,” he said.

 “Coverage in Paradise Magazine before the screening in Fort Lauderdale led many locals to ask me when they could see it here, and Key West’s Tropic Cinema is a natural for an art flick like this”.

The film features several of the drag queens who perform at the 801 Cabaret Club in Key West. Sushi is the main star and the film also includes Gugi Gomez, Samantha Woodward, RV Beaumont, and Gassy Winds. It also has footage about Destiny, who passed away during filming.

  This is Hopcraft’s first-ever entry into professional filmmaking. He produced, directed, and did all the cinematography on the film.

 “It’s definitely a one man film crew”, Hopcraft said. “However, I hired editors and I sat with them through every minute of every scene that we put into the film. That’s tedious work on a project idea that existed only in my head,” he laughed.

  “I built the storyline as I went along, and along the way I learned a lot about a very interesting group of men in dresses.”

  “You talk about drama; we had plenty of it and it all happens daily in the lives of these drag queens,” he said.

 Although the film has been well received elsewhere, Hopcraft says he’s extremely nervous about how it will be accepted in Key West.

 “I’ve lived in Key West for more than16 years and until this film I never had a conversation with a drag queen,” said Hopcraft. “I hope the film gives the viewers the depth of understanding that I have gained because I know how difficult it is to be labeled ‘different’ by our society—and in this case, to say  ‘different’ is really an understatement.”

 By gaining the trust of the drag queens, Hopcraft was even allowed to film in the inner sanctum—the back-stage dressing room—where each Queen is transformed into her unique personae.

 Hopcraft’s film production company, Key West Unplugged, is based in Key West, Florida. For more information about the film go to


 Tickets for the screening may be purchased at or call the box office at 305 294-5857.

These Aphrodisiacs are Drag Queens

February 6th, 2010 No comments

Last night I filmed more new footage of the Drag Queens performing on stage at the Cabaret Club on Duval St in Key West. Sushi and the girls, Samantha, Gassy, Kylie, and Déjà have been rehearsing tirelessly a new song called “one love” that Ray Burris and Bill Coate, the guys from NYC have asked them to do. Last night was the first time the drag queens have performed it live in the Friday night show. Sushi introduced the new song to the audience and mentioned that I was filming it for the preview film trailer that we are creating for NY and we would appreciate loud applause at the end of the performance… and loud it was, along with lots of cheering.

photo from the Fort Lauderdale Intl. Film Festival

The new film footage will also be added to the film “Audience with the Queens” for the upcoming Feb17th screening premiere at the Tropic Cinema in Key West. This will be the first opportunity that “locals” will have a chance to see the film that been shot on location in Key West by Robbie Hopcraft. It should be a fun and exciting evening for all who get to attend.

The Drag Queens who live and perform in Key West are incredibly talented and interesting characters; there is no doubt about it!! They put on a great show and there humor and witticisms keep you involved in the show.

Sushi made some interesting comments to the audience last night. She said that we are all born naked and everything else is drag, meaning that we’re all wearing a costume.  And that Drag Queens in every culture teach us not to take life so seriously.  I believe that drag is a sacred practice.  Drag Queens and Kings are like aphrodisiacs.  They encourage the rest of us (if we’re open to them) to feel libidinous, empowered, and playful. 

Speaking of Aphrodisiacs, I’m making homemade aphrodisiac infused honey, for spreading on a buttery croissant or….

Aphrodisiacs have a ‘serious’ side, in the fact that most of them are also strengthening to the heart, reproductive, and/or nervous systems, many if not all are anti-depressive, and in general they make people feel happy, even giddy, which is very creatively freeing.  They aren’t “just” about sex.

Talking of sex as a life force, Aphrodisiac plants are living poems to life force.  They support the idea that life is pleasurable.  What a simple, and yet somehow still radical thought.