THIS IS HEKLINA AND HER GIRLS AT THEIR BEST, NOW IN SEASON 11, IT CAN’T BE CHRISTMAS UNTIL YOU SPEND A HOLIDAY WITH THE “GOLDEN GIRLS”
It is not officially Christmas in San Francisco, until Heklina and her marvelous crew, bring the GIRLS to the party. THE GOLDEN GIRLS CHRISTMAS EPISODES now in it’s 11th year are back and as Golden as ever. Now on stage at the Victoria stage through December 23rd. It is a Holiday tradition – like the Nutcracker – and Scrooge. Four talented drag performers, cast in two classic Christmas episodes of the iconic 1985, 32 year old TV show: THE GOLDEN GIRLS, it is a perfect good time and the sold out crowds bring a party atmosphere to the Grande Victoria Theatre. The four drag “A” listers playing the “Girls” include; Heklina (Dorothy), Matthew Martin (Blanche), and new for 2015 - playing Sophia and Rose are Holotta Tymes (Sophia), and D’Arcy Drollinger (Rose). Manuel Caneri, and Tom Shaw are also featured in the 2016 cast.
Heklina producer and creator of Trannyshack brought the girls to the front parlor of a Victorian mansion in the Western Addition, and grew year after year at Mama Calizo's Voice Factory, Counterpulse, and, finally, these past 5 years at the Victoria Theater. Former partner and producer, Cookie Dough who passed away in 2015 was a great friend and major part of the Golden Girl success and history. Rightly hailed as "the sweetest queen in San Francisco" we will always miss her forever says Heklina- “We are thrilled to welcome our dear friend, drag performer Holatta Tymes to the cast in the role of Sophia Petrillo.” This is Tymes second season with GG. Heklina also welcomed a second new cast member: “After 9 years of originating the role of Rose in The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes, Pollo del Mar moved on from the cast/family of The Golden Girls. In 2015 GG welcomed drag star D’Arcy Drollinger who stops the show with her perfected airhead interpretation on the dim-witted "Rose". D’Arcy is the artistic director at Oasis club and partner with Heklina.
Directed by the marvelous Matthew Martin, the two episodes are performed as they were written. But with the timing a bit expanded with perfect deadpan deliveries and slothenly movement scene to scene, keep the whole episode moving along. With their dry sense of humor.and the constant giggles from the sold out audiences, each episode runs about 45 minutes. This years two episodes raise the bar as the company only gets better with excellent props and a set by Hector Zavala. It is the perfect florida condo as seen in the NBC series. I have seen this set improve over the years from a hand painted flats to now a complete working living room with palm trees and the iconic holiday tree. Including a working kitchen for Sophia to cook in, and wonderful Florida bistro look.
Glenn Krumbholz, brilliant costumes are not all that camp, but more glee and the amazing holiday sweaters will make you laugh, and you will want one. Becky Motorlodge's, wonderful wigs and Leonardo Hidalgo's keen light design include some sizzling holiday lights, Lori Fowler's, sound design included some classic music and Sophia's long awaited phone call cue. There are many costume changes, for two 22-minute episodes, yet it somehow runs two hours. Partly because the cheering rowdy, audiences know how to get what they want, encouraging the queens to skip a beat or add a line. That happens, if an audience member does want to add to the show, the company responds and it's hilarious. Each scene change brings the “Girls” out in different gowns and holiday glamour handled by dresser Carissa Hatchel. The Christmas Episodes 2016 is clever funny and full of very long perfect glares and shtick that brings down the house. The lighting by Hidalgo is excellent, the commercial breaks in the early years included the original ads from 80’s TV, and now Singer/Pianist/Actor/Composer Tom Shaw, keeps the crowd cheering with sing along Christmas carols.
Producer Heklina plays Dorothy, and she skillfully carries the Bea Arthur dominance and timing and is hilarious in the role. Matthew Martin in the role of Blanche captures Rue McClanahan's saucy promiscuity and his comic timing is the best. Holotta Tymes and the feisty senior Sophia has the child like attitude that Estelle Getty brought to the part, well directed by Martin. Local favorite and the amazing D’Arcy Drollinger ( who just completed a sold out run as Frank-N-Furter in Rocky Horror for Ray of Light) is the perfect dim witted Rose and brings Betty White to life, what a charm. White is the only remaining member of the original cast, and maybe one year will see this wonderful company.
This years two new episodes are:
"WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DATE MAKES"
The man who stood Dorothy up for her senior prom contacts her and they make a date for the Christmas dance. After learning why he stood her up, Dorothy unleashes her wrath on the person at fault, Sophia. Meanwhile, Blanche goes on a diet in order to keep with her tradition of annually fitting into her wedding dress. (Originally written by Susan Harris, Marc Cherry & Jamie Wooten) (Actor Hal Linden starred as Dorothy's love interest.)
Episode 2 - "GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN...BEFORE THEY DIE"
It's the Holiday Season and both Sophia and Rose take advice from Blanche that lands each of them in hot water. Due to an unseasonal drought in St. Olaf, Rose swears to be celibate and Blanche advises her not to tell Miles the truth. While Sophia takes Blanche's tips to lure a man to bed but when she tells him she loves him, he doesn't respond with what she hoped. (Originally written by Susan Harris, Gail Parent & James Valley) (Actor Cesar Romero starred as Tony (Sofia's love interest.)
This season GG honored their opening night performance to benefit the Healing Waters Wilderness Adventures (HWWA). For each ticket sold for opening night a $5.00 donation was be made to HWWA. Healing Waters Wilderness Adventures mission is to empower, inspire and enrich the lives of people challenging aids through wilderness adventures. Healing Waters Wilderness Adventures exists to help its participants step outside from all of that, if only for a short time. They offer incredibly fun weekend and weekday trips open to people with HIV and AIDS.
An Ice cream flavor was honored a GG flavor, Humphry Slocombe - San Francisco’s Award-Winning Ice Cream created a limited-edition ice cream flavor to celebrate The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes 2016. Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (dark chocolate cheesecake ice cream with amarena cherries & house-made graham crackers) is available at both Humphry Slocombe locations through Dec 31, 2016 located at 2790 Harrison St. and 1 Ferry Building, SF. Slocombe is excited about the GG new flavor “Being asked to do an ice cream for Golden Girls was a thrill and making it a cheesecake ice cream seemed like a prerequisite (duh) And just to make the holidays a little more "gayer" we made it a chocolate cherry cheesecake ice cream." The Girls made an appearance Dec 3rd at their downtown location.
“The Golden Girls: Christmas Episodes” is the perfect way to enjoy the season. Some weekend performances are sold out but you can sign up for single seats on a waiting list the night of each remaining performance. You can also sing the original Golden Girl theme that most everyone in San Francisco knows. This is now part of the holiday annual tradition in San Francisco. The Girls “Thank you for being a friend these past 11 seasons!”
THE GOLDEN GIRLS
Produced by Heklina and D’Arcy Drollinger
Directed by Matthew Martin
THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND! ALL SATURDAY NIGHT SHOWS ARE SOLD OUT - BUT TICKETS FOR THE OTHERS PERFORMANCES REMAIN.
MUST CLOSE DEC 23RD
1 HOUR 45 MINUTES WITH AN INTERMISSION
The Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St
Heklina, Matthew Martin, Holotta Tymes, D’Arcy Drollinger
with Manuel Caneri, and Tom Shaw
Tix $25 available at: http://goldengirlschristmas.eventbrite.com/
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/288406211544578/