THE HOLIDAY SEASON HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN. THE GIRLS ARE BACK HOME AT THE ICONIC VICTORIA THEATRE
IT CAN’T BE CHRISTMAS IN THE BAY AREA UNTIL YOU SPEND A NIGHT WITH THE “GOLDEN GIRLS”
AND THEIR HOLIDAY SWEATERS
It is not officially Christmas in San Francisco until D’Arcy and her marvelous crew bring the GIRLS to the 2021 celebration. THE GOLDEN GIRLS LIVE CHRISTMAS EPISODES are back and as divine as always. The Oasis crew has transformed the 16th street Victoria Stage back into the classic Florida Shady Palms living room and kitchen set. The mission street stage is hosting the Girls only through December 23rd and tickets are the best holiday or Hanukkah pre gift.
This is a Holiday tradition – like the Nutcracker – and Scrooge. Four talented drag performers, cast in two classic Christmas episodes of the iconic 1985, 36 year old TV show: THE GOLDEN GIRLS LIVE!, it is a perfect good time. The four Queen “A” listers playing the “Girls” include; Heklina (Dorothy), Matthew Martin (Blanche), Holotta Tymes (Sophia), and D’Arcy Drollinger (Rose). Manuel Caneri plays the male walk on roles and SNAXX as the flower person is also featured. The commercial breaks include on Piano the accomplished Tom Shaw who performs hit Christmas carols that true Golden Girl fans sing throughout the scene changes.
D’Arcy Drollinger who stops the show with her perfected airhead interpretation of dim-witted "Rose". Drollinger is Producer and Director and owner of the Oasis club who directed both episodes, bringing back partner Heklina to reprise her role as the iconic Dorothy. Drollinger says it's great to be back live on stage; “Last year's virtual stream was so much fun, but there's nothing like being back at the Victoria Theatre in front of a live audience. We are excited to kick off the Holiday season, and we run through December 23rd.”
As in the past 15 years the two episodes are performed as they were written. But with the timing a bit expanded with perfect deadpan deliveries and slovenly 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. Director D’Arcy Drollinger raised the bar this fall with a bright new set and made sure Evian decked out the haunted Victoria with Holiday cheer. The set by Sarah Phykitt, is a perfect Florida condo as seen in the NBC series.
I have seen this set improve over the years from hand painted flats to now a complete working living room with palm trees and the iconic holiday tree. A working kitchen for Sophia to cook in, and a wonderful Florida bistro look. The clever Evian also designed all the props on stage and along with Ron Brock who brought the holiday dazzle to eye candy perfection. Stage Manager Lori Fowler kept the busy cast moving well and the music by Steve Bollinger is the heart of this team.
These two studio holiday episodes raise the bar as the company only gets better. Fans are treated to a GG favorite called “The Henny Penny episode”. It features singing and dancing to a children's classic fairy tale. The original clip is posted below the review. It was rare to see the original actors; Betty White, Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty and Rue McClanahan sing or dance, it's a classic scene. Drollinger recreates the scene with colorful perfection and dazzling wigs designed by Becky Motorlodge.
Kipper Snacks’ brilliant costumes are not all that camp, but more glee and the amazing holiday sweaters will make you smile, and you will want one. In the lobby of the Vic is a merch counter that sells a few designs of tee shirts and hoodies, a favorite is the Florida Shady Palms design. SNAXX is one of the dressers along with Laraine Gurke and Lauren Burgat who have to handle over 20 changes. The wonderful wigs are always by the genius Becky Motorlodge with Sophia Craven’s brilliant light design. The lighting extends into the theatre and includes some sizzling holiday lights that can be seen even when the curtain has dropped.
Sound designer Jerry Girard has each actor professionally mic’d, it's not an easy task in the hallow Vic to get the best sound. Tony Baabbit and Sharon Boggs give each of the girls clear sound for the best insults of the night “After 80, every year without a headstone is a milestone!” — Sophia or “Crying is for plain women. Pretty women go shopping.” — Blanche
The Christmas Episodes 2021 is perfect, hilarious and full of the classic long glares and shtick that is a staple for the Girls. Heklina plays Dorothy, and she skillfully carries the Bea Arthur dominance and timing and is hilarious in the role. Matthew Martin is a pro at getting her audience to cheer her every entrance in the role of Blanche she captures Rue McClanahan’s saucy promiscuity and his comic timing. Holotta Tymes as the feisty senior Sophia has the child-like attitude that Estelle Getty brought to the part. The amazing D’Arcy Drollinger is the perfect dimwitted Rose and brings Betty White to life, what a charm. White is the only remaining member of the original cast, and she still has time to see this wonderful company.
“The Golden Girls: Christmas Episodes” is the perfect way to enjoy the season. You can still sing the original Golden Girl theme that most everyone knows with the cast as you drink some spirits from the bar. Be part of this holiday annual tradition in San Francisco. The Girls “Thank you for being a friend!” Great seats remain through out the run that must close Dec 23rd.
THE GOLDEN GIRLS LIVE!
CHRISTMAS EPISODES 2021
Produced and Directed
by D’Arcy Drollinger
Heklina, Matthew Martin, Holotta Tymes, D’Arcy Drollinger
with Manuel Caneri, SNAXX and Tom Shaw on piano
MUST CLOSE DEC 23RD
16TH AND MISSION SF
16TH STREET BART STATION
Tix available at: https://www.stellartickets.com/log-in?returnTo=%2Fwallet
MEET THE CAST
HENNY PENNY ORIGINAL CLIP COURTESY OF NBC