It's a fabulous Grand Old Party with the Kinsey Sicks in their new concert film, I Wanna Be a Republican. Not satisfied with any other political group, the Kinsey Sicks--a drag-queen a cappella quartet consisting of Rachel, Trixie, Winnie and Trampolina--decide they want to represent the red states and become Republican. I Wanna Be a Republican screens at the Rialto on March 15.
Director Ken Bielenberg's political satire musical is the story of four ladies who share their love for such themes as political corruption and tokenism. The over-the-top musical enjoys playing on audience perceptions by embracing the very political agenda one would assume they'd sooner rally against. Rachel (Ben Schatz), the horny, bullish one, takes an audience member onstage for a rendition of "Why Can't We F**k?" Winnie, (above in glasses and played by Penngrove resident Irwin Keller), shows an obsessive compulsive cleaning streak in the song "Clean." Trixie (Jeff Manabat), the Asian member of the group, is the butt of the joke about Republicans and tokenism. Finally, there's the not-so-subtly named Trampolina (Chris Dilley), who belts out a hearty rendition of "Be a Slut."
A number of musical set pieces that take jabs at just about every aspect of Republican values and conservatism, I Wanna Be chronicles the stories and misfortunes of the "girls" as they make their way toward the right. When the puns get to be a little much, Rachel explicitly informs audience members to write their own material. The sight of four drag queens singing about the virtues of modern, white conservative society, or taking such famous hymns as "We Shall Overcome" and turning the lyrics into "The poor are overpaid," can't help but make you laugh and cry at the same time.
After the screening, director Bielenberg and producer Alonzo Ruvalcaba join the audience for a Q&A session. The Kinsey Sicks' I Wanna Be a Republican screens on Thursday, March 15, at 7:15pm. Rialto Lakeside Cinemas, 551 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa. $6.50-$9.50. 707.525.4840.