Lovely Ladies
Penny Patterson

Afew days ago, my girlfriend and I went to see Sex and the City. Although the HBO series was never really my cup of tea, the film was entertaining, if not remotely realistic. I complained about Carrie Bradshaw’s implausible lifestyle, with her enviable apartment and shoe and clothing fetish-all financed by a freelance writer’s salary (yeah right, folks). I wondered aloud when I would ever see such designer fashion flaunted before my eyes.

The return to regular life after two-and-a-half hours on Planet Carrie was, however, softened greatly by Monday night’s Rainbow Room and Drag Revue at SOhO. Although not decked out in designer duds from head to toe, these ladies sure did flaunt everything they had.

In a benefit for the Pacific Pride Foundation, Santa Barbara’s finest drag queens strutted and sashayed across the SOhO stage, singing, dancing, and schmoozing the crowd. The venue was a new locale for a drag show-which most often take place on Sunday nights at the Wildcat Lounge-and it hosted the event well, providing a good backdrop for the classy, cabaret-themed evening. The dinner portion of the evening was a big draw for many people, especially since it secured a seat for the duration of the show; it sold out more than a week prior to the event.

And what an event it was. The night started with a slideshow of Patricia Clarke’s strikingly intimate photographs of the ladies preparing for their performances as well as their time onstage. S.B. jazz band X-Tet got the music going, and soon the drag queens took over the performance space, each bringing their unique, sassy sex appeal to their individual songs.

The crowd, which showcased a wide swath of age and orientation, was more than enthusiastic, cheering on favorite drag queens and hooting and hollering as each trotted out her song and dance. But there were certainly a handful of potential SOhO customers who didn’t quite know what to do with the evening’s entertainment. As a few friends and I huddled by the bar, vowing to make dinner reservations next time, we cracked up as a woman came to the door, looked at the performing drag queen, and loudly whispered to her friend, “That’s a man!”

But the general consensus from the capacity crowd was that this shouldn’t be the only time the Rainbow Room comes through SOhO. Everyone loves a good show, even on a Monday. And, thankfully, the lovely ladies in drag reminded me of a few songs to hum that aren’t from the Sex and the City soundtrack.


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