“The Kinsey Sicks: I Wanna Be a Republican”
For those of you who do not recognize the word “dragapella”, it is quite easy to explain. It is a capella music sung in drag. Don’t feel uneducated—I had no idea of what it was until 2001 when someone told me about a group called “The Kinsey Sicks” and I have been a fan ever since. The Kinsey Sicks are Ben Schatz (Rachel), Irwin Keller (Winnie), Chris Dilley (Trampolina) and Jeff Manabat (Trixie) and they are fabulous. Dressed in cocktail dresses complete with white gloves and bouffant wigs, they perform singing parodies of songs we all know. The lyrics are irreverent as are the “girls”. “We Arm the World” is just wonderful; the voices are just unbelievable and the harmonies are just incredible. They exchange barbs and puns, involve the audience and keep you laughing until you cry. They are blunt as they look at and sing about the hypocrisy of the world.
The movie starts with convention music and we watch the “girls” putting on their make-up. When they come on stage the audience cheers and each of the group tells how “she” became a Republican. Then audience harassment begins and so does the fun. The songs are popular melodies with the lyrics changed and we soon see that this film is not for the politically correct. It is very, very funny, Instead of “We Shall Overcome”, we get “Gays Should Never Come” which shows how Republicans are against gay marriage. Their tribute to racism “All the right places have white faces and all the white faces are in the right places” and while you may not agree with the politics they “expound”, you cannot help but enjoy the satire. The show closes with a parody of “We are the World” which is retitled to “We Arm the World” which is funny and shocking at the same time. Irreverent as the show is, it is hilarious. The satire sizzles and the dialog between the songs is trashy (and oh so wonderful). The entire program has you laughing wildly. The girls are as lewd as it gets and they challenge Divine as the world’s filthiest. The envelope is pushed to the edge and taste and tolerance are totally lacking—while some audience members seem to be shaken and shocked, others are holding themselves from laughing so hard.
What makes The Kinsey Sicks so great? I think it is the way they use their drag personas. They look like Baptist ladies in their church going clothes and bouffant hairdos.
As a film, the movie succeeds because of the adroit camera work which spotlights the fun both onstage and off. It is a film for those who care not to care or who care too much and can laugh. The parodies and satire are just amazing. They lampoon the Bush presidency but also poke fun at everything sacred. Nothing is left untouched and these drag queens have a great time—as do we.