THE HAGWARTS EXPRESS IS RAGING WITH HEELS AND WIGS AS HARRY POOFTER USES THE WAND ON JK
THE OASIS IS THE TRUE HOME FOR THE POTTER FRANCHISE, IT IS RAUNCHY, HILARIOUS, AND JUST THE PERFECT MIX OF HEELS AND WIGS.
Review by Vince Mediaa
This summer the SF Oasis is the Hagwarts academy for witchcraft and bitherey. Wizard Drag Kings and Queens join Harry changing his pronouns. “Harry Poofter and the Chamber of Secretions,” now on stage at the 11th street Oasis through August 27th is a sold out hit! Trans women are women! The author that cannot be named (JK) is taken to task by Fraudway productions Director and Writers Elsa Touche, Intensive Claire (Kirk Saraceno) and the mononyms' Otter.
Harry Poofter, Ron Weasey, Hermanly Grindr and all their friends explore the “Chamber of Secretions” - as their Hogwarts Academy heels wigs and magic wands move to the front of the class. It is a fun simple story with new lines added at every performance. Is it too soon for Anne Heche (RIP) jokes; not for the Fraudway writers. “The Chamber of Secretions” is the second episode from the Poofter franchise. We join Harry in his second year at Hagwarts’ drag artists as the students are in danger from losing their drag freedom as Professor Snap and Luscious Melformed (both played by the terrific Jef Valentine) plan to ban drag.
The two hour romp has polished musical numbers all staged with first class camp including the opening number from Chicago “Cell Block Tango”. Harry Poofter played by the gifted Vanilla Meringue brings a bit of Tracy Turnbald to her flawless performance. J.K.s grief with the transphobia on (her) social platforms are easily squashed on this south of market stage.
J.K. makes a brief appearance in the second act with a lovely Grindr fight. The cast includes some of the Best in Bay drag performers including the Director Writer Intensive Claire as Hermanly Grindr dressed in a vixen harness is always hilarious. She stumbles across stage and falls into the skilled arms of stage managers Taylor Noel and Remix Sunshine keep the show and 14 member cast on cue.
The full throttle Guy Mann as the red haired Ron Wheezy is always at Harry's side. Mann has a few solo numbers that show off his flexible dance moves on stage and his wig is the perfect carrot top red.
The sleek Jay Pegg plays a sexy Drag King Malformed alongside little Throbby played by the talented Oliver Branch. They both have show stopping scenes especially as Throbby is carried off stage by one of the cast members.
The marvelous CoCo Butta commands the stage as Father wizard Albus Dumboldwhore “They're some that say drag artists or drag bloods don’t belong here but that is nonsense! !Butta later in the story does a mad Tina Turner.
Vanilla Merinque closes the first act with show stopping number “I Am What I Am” as Poofter wants friends to meet Harriet Poofter. Choreographer Gia keeps the show moving, but the Harry to Harriet number and “Cell Block Tango” are both jazz hands Poofter highlights.
The marvelous Elsa Touche head master Minerva MacGonnagurrrrrl who announced to the students “Since the past two years we have been on zoom, we lost our food staff, so the dining hall is now an Arby’ s they have the meat.” During the intermission - now Harriet eats Arby’s for 15 minutes while the cast passes out new playbill that now features Harriet Poofter on the cover.
Local favorite the Jef Valentine who plays both bullies and villains; Professor Snap and Luscious Malformed commands the stage with his powerhouse entrances - As Snap enters the Darth Vader music booms, as he is scolded by the cast not to overdue his entrances.
Valentine is a long time favorite of the Oasis and SF drag community he says “The show is great fun to do and I agree with the observation that the trans supportive message and Harriet's story gives this one more heart, more to root for. I do enjoy playing the baddie”
Valentine’s camp classic jazz hands diva eye piercing glares can control any crowd. His wand battle is brilliant and lighting designer Nic Candito brings his light weapon some sneering class. He later sings “Anything You Can Do” with impressive Lisa Frankenstein as Vaginny Wheezy - This is one of the rare numbers sung live on stage with hand mics. Both actors show off their keen voices. Valentine told me off stage “Harry Poofter has rougher edges than other things that have played Oasis, but this variety gender expression in this cast is like nothing you'll see anywhere else”.
Fraudway productions also encourages cell photo’s and vid clips - Included in my review are a few highlights from the two hour wizard romp.
Prof Cockfart, played by the outrageous Jubilee, reminds the drag students that she is old enough to have seen Hakina's first performance at Stonehenge. The exceptional Lucinda Puss has a few roles but is most memorable as Fagagrid. Always outrageous Titus Androgynous also plays a number of characters yet is striking as Tree - full of fall colors and bitchy branches. All three writer directors appear in the show including the distant monogamous wonderful Otter as Prof Spurt and other wizards.
Harriet as a trans character is a perfect slam to the current play across town that does not acknowledge the two boys Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy as young gay teens. JK won’t mentioned the topic, so this proactive Harriet Poofter beats any Tony honored play across town. The craft team is smart and the set works amazing with the projections and wild props including a baby creature growing inside a flower pot and the bus Ron drives.
The sound cues for Oasis productions are always an important element that pops and explodes all their shows to that third level of humor. Created by Sophia Craver and Nic Candito who hit every cue, slap and Grindr text alert. The clever Eric Sassman created all the visual effects including the video open and video back drops.
As the show ends Harriet invites all the Witches and Wizards in the audience and every orientation to ride the Hagwarts express. Be who you are and wand your heart and soul. The final number “Born This Way” is perfect for Harriet and the cast to show their true spirit. The show is sold out but a waitlist forms at 6pm for open single seats or standing. It is almost certain that Fraudway productions will return in a year with another Poofter story. San Francisco is the true home for Poofter and his wizard friends and muggles. Bring your own wands and heels.
Fraudway Productions and The Oasis
Harry Poofter and the
Chamber of Secretions
Written, Directed and Produced by
Elsa Touche, Intensive Claire and Otter
SOLD OUT Through Aug. 27
Two hours. one intermission $30-$50.
Oasis, 298 11th St., S.F.
Cast pics https://fb.watch/eWBePs1Z2M/
Photos by @bbamok, Jonathan Claybaugh and VmediArts.
Clip vids by VmediArts