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THE FIRST WIVES FIGHT CLUB, A Live Musical Parody Mash-Up of '90s Film Classics: "The First Wives Club" and "Fight Club"
Busy and clever Peaches Christ finally staged her first Movie mash-up full musical production and no need to show the film the extravaganza is based on. Peaches and her clever team of Drag superstars have been doing these cult spoofs for about 20 years. They sell out fast and the team had planned to take THE FIRST WIVES FIGHT CLUB on the Road. That dream was shot down last week, but the WIVES FOUGHT two times last Sunday April 7th at the Icon classic fight ring The Castro Theatre. Those lucky enough to see the fun were treated to some of the best camp of the spring.
The latest drag parody mash-up of 90s film classics FIRST WIVES CLUB and FIGHT CLUB set to music and slaps. Peaches co-wrote it with friend Varla Jean Merman, who is also co-directing. The spoof stars Rupaul's Drag Race Season 7 runner-up Ginger Minj also featured in the Netflix film Dumplin', Rupaul winner Raja, and current Drag Race contestant Brooke Lynn Hytes. Peaches says the two films bond well because they're both "about getting in touch with your inner aggression," set to romp a campy revenge comedy about middle-aged women, and the other, David Fincher’s portrait of anti-establishment nihilism.
Peaches is over the top to work with Merman “Working together was so great - We were really happy with how the show turned out so we decided to write together more often and The First Wives Fight Club is our second collaboration. I feel like we really push each other to be more ridiculous and more insane!” Peaches wanted some color in the crowd "Audience members are encouraged to wear their biggest shoulder pads, for both fashion and fighting purposes. And you can drink like you just found out your cool best friend is imaginary at the Bitch Tits cocktail bar in the lobby” says Peaches.
The First Wives Club has been staged in the past as a musical in 2009 with music and lyrics by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland. The musical then premiered in San Diego, California, in 2009, with a book by Rupert Holmes. A rebooted version had a production in Chicago, in 2015, with a new book by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. Both musicals failed and did very short runs. This Peaches and Mermans show created by SF Drag queens takes the camp over the top and of course you can’t help but love the girls.
Peaches Christ over the years, has presented her drag takes on cult films that deliver laughs fun and pages of bitch slapping and hair spray. Peaches pushes it to mosh max with a show that mixes the 1996 Bette Midler comedy The First Wives Club with the 1999 cult-classic Fight Club. The bitch fight movie of a middle-aged wife of a Wall Street tycoon kills herself by jumping from her penthouse, and three of her once-close college friends reunite at the funeral. Imagine the fun and songs the FIGHT CLUB girls bring to the Castro Street Stage. The punch line with David Fincher's visionary and camp portrait of nihilism, FIGHT CLUB is perfect for bully drag queens.
Although way different in their temperaments, the much-plastic-surgeried starlet Brooke Lynn Hytes as Goldie Hawn, the brassy Ginger Minj played Bette Midler, and people-pleasing goofball Peaches played Annie/Diane Keaton. Peaches says “I’d heard about Brooke from a number of friends and began following her on the internet - I knew that she had all this incredible experience under her belt as a dancer and a pageant queen. I really wanted to have a girl be in one of our shows while she was still (hopefully) appearing on TV.” As the three women discover their newfound strength at the club they create “Project Mayhem” designed to destroy their exes. It's time for revenge, they make a pact to get back at them. The bitch slapping begins and its non stop. The show also stars Peggy L'eggs and the terrific April Kidwell.
Merman and Peaches keep the show edgy and the characters over the top. They have punched the fun with cult canon characters. Peaches love for the cult bomb Showgirls, it’s perfect that Merman agreed to write in Elizabeth Berkley’s girlfriend character in First Wives into Nomi Malone for this romp.
The show was set to hit the road and visit Canada and other Cities, but at the last minute the producers pulled the plug; Peaches says; “I could not be more proud of our premiere of THE FIRST WIVES FIGHT CLUB in SF, and am so glad we get to do it in Los Angeles next Saturday- but it only makes the cancellation of our Canada, Seattle, Portland shows all the more devastating.”
Peaches continues; “ I was waiting until the Seattle ticket buyers were notified before saying something but I want people to know that the performers, crew, and myself woke up Monday morning to find out about the cancelled dates and we wish more than anything we could have brought this great show to these towns. Ginger Minj, Raja, Brooke Lynn Hytes, April Kidwell, and Peggy L'eggs worked so hard to make the show fantastic and I could not be more impressed.”
“I know that there are a multitude of reasons the tour producers had for making this decision and it's my hope that they can sometime soon reschedule and properly bring the show out on the road. People in SF have been raving about it and the entire cast and crew worked so hard to make it so great! If you're in Southern California and can catch us in Hollywood next Saturday, April 20th- we'd LOVE to see you! Matthew Herrmann is presenting the show at the fantastic Montalban Theatre in Los Angeles. What a better way that to spend 420 with the Wives.” says Peaches Christ.
Many '90s films are about getting in touch with your inner bully, mashed up into one camp narrative. Each of the three vixens Midler/Keaton/Hawn become the perfect revenge comedy THE FIRST WIVES CLUB cast I feel the 000 Brooke Lynn Hytes was the show stopping star. Ginger was hilarious and very entertaining in her song and dance numbers sharp. Peaches was a riot as usual and brings in the class when needed. Raja was cute and fun but didn't know any of her lines, which made the audience laugh at the afternoon performance. Let's hope the producers bring this show back to stage and I look forward to the mash up musical by Peaches Christ and her creative team.
Peaches Christ presents
THE FIRST WIVES FIGHT CLUB
A Live Musical Parody Mash-Up of ‘90s Film Classics:
"The First Wives Club" and “Fight Club”
Written and Directed by Peaches Christ and Varla Jean Merman
Starring RAJA, BROOKE LYNN HYTES, GINGER MINJ
and PEACHES CHRIST
April 20, 2019 - One night only
Castro Theatre in San Francisco
photos by Sloane Kanter
Chadd Behavior (Choreographer); Ric Ray (Set Design); Leah Johnston (Lighting Design).