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DVD Review: The Kinsey Sicks – I Wanna Be a Republican

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Are you a depressed Democrat, looking for a cheap laugh at your political counterparts' expense? Or maybe you're a repressed Republican who needs an injection of pride? Then you might want to think about checking out The Kinsey Sicks. These funny, talented drag queens have been performing since 1994 and have finally captured their four-part harmonies and bawdy political humor on their first live concert film, I Wanna Be a Republican.

I admit, I had never heard of them before watching this new DVD but quickly found myself attuned to their patented brand of campy sarcasm. I mean, there's over-the-top, and then there's the Kinsey Sicks. Self-billed as "America's favorite dragapella beautyshop quartet" (because, really, we have so many to choose from. Thank you, democracy!), these four feisty drag queens stage a mock GOP fundraiser to announce their switch to the Republican party. According to anal Winnie, "your contributions this evening will help eradicate such rampant social evils as social security! Evolution! Pleasure!"

The following 84 minutes are not only entertaining but, really, educational as well as they sing (in impressive a capella four-part harmonies) the benefits of conservatism. One by one, the group – which also includes glamorous Trixie, horny Rachel, and spiritual Trampolina – take to the podium to explain why and how they decided to cross party lines. At the end of the fundraiser, we're promised that "George W. Bush himself will be here to deliver his first ever coherent public policy address!"

During their personal speeches, they take on numerous subjects, reveal personal confessions and hold nothing back. On why she's a pro-choice Republican, Trixie says, "We cannot go back to the days of back-alley abortions. I myself have spent much time in those back alleys and believe me, nothing ruins the moment more than a mangled fetus."

On Trixie's decision, Winnie assures her that "it's fine for you to be a pro-choice Republican as long as you're content to have no influence whatsoever."

And that's just the between-song banter. To kick things off, the ladies outline their motivations in their anthemic title song, singing "I'm tired of thinking about you when it's all about me, me, me!… Now I'm in a place where I'm embraced for being selfish and mean!"

Apparently, joining the Republican party has its advantages. "Don't you just love flesh-colored bandages?" Trixie sings in "All the White Places." And in "Money," the title subject "buys you noses and elections, it buys you pills that buy erections." Plus, you can can have politically correct cocktail parties while exploiting those you oppress: "Rent a homo for your party, you will have a barrel of fun! Rent a homo for your party, every party should have one."

The only part I found confusing was Trampolina's gospel-tinged "Be A Slut," where God told her to, well… I think the title explains it (in case it doesn't, the chorus goes: "Be a slut! Be a slut! No ifs, no ands, but lots of butt!"). The "abstinence-only" Republican party doesn't exactly seem pro-sex but hey, if every Republican drag queen was as inspiring as Trampolina, they might just change their policies. Girl doesn't just sing, she can sang.

Filmed before a game audience in San Francisco (tough crowd to convince of the powers of Republicanism), the Kinsey Sicks doo-wop, meditate, seduce audience members and hire minorities for photo ops. Does W. ever show up for his public policy address? I won't spoil it, but they do perform his personal anthem called "When You're Good to Dubya," a take on Chicago's "When You're Good to Mama."

Watching a concert on TV is always strange as there seems to be a disconnect between you and the live audience. Some things are just funnier in person, even if you're watching the same joke in your living room. And I admit, I never want to see a drag queen acting out the party game "Bobbing for Butt Hairs" ever again. But on one of the DVD's many special features, more than one of the cast members reveal that their conservative parents enjoyed the show. By the time the Sicks close with "We Arm the World," you might be singing along, too.

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About Don Baiocchi