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Connie Champagne: A Drag Queen in a Woman's Body

 

You can’t catch The Gay from a toilet seat or from walking through The Castro, but listen to one too many Judy Garland ballads and who knows? It could be enough to turn you. At least, that’s what Connie Champagne is warning – and/or promising – in her new cabaret act, “Connie Champagne Sings Songs to Make You Gay.”


At the New Conservatory Theater through August 9, Champagne, a singer, entertainer and keeper of the Judy Garland flame, will blend a splashy, fabulous cabaret cocktail with one part Sound of Music, 3 parts Madonna (a medley), equal parts Bette Midler, Doris Day and Donna Summer and a splash of David Bowie. It’s guaranteed to put you in touch with your swishier side.


“What would Judy Sing?” pretty much sums up Champagne’s recipe for turning you gay. And, along rounding up the usual Divas, Champagne will sing some songs that don’t so much scream gay as spell it-- Our Lips Are Sealed, True Colors, Walk on the Wild Side.


Champagne, a chanteuse rated  #30 among "the Top One Hundred Best Things About San Francisco,” by a SF Examiner Readers Poll (ten notches above the Golden Gate Bridge!) performs jazz, swing, big band and bubble gum – and channels Judy Garland whenever possible.


She just performed a Stonewall Memorial Judy show at the Razz Room, called “Judy Garland--The Original Stonewall Rriot Grrrl!”  In an earlier, show, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” Champagne assembled the repertoire Garland might sing today— Rufus Wainwright, Elton John, John Cameron Mitchell – reinterpreted and Judy-fied.