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Quality stage drag returns to San Francisco

Harry Denton welcomes cast arriving by Cable Car for 'Sundays Are A Drag!' premier. The show is high camped weekly at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. in Harry Denton's Starlight Room. Arriving stars from left, Donna Sachet, Alexis Miranda, and Cassandra Cass. Doorman Tom Sweeney, at right, is celebrating his 30th year
as a San Francisco institution.

Cassandra Cass
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Pat Murphy

Copyright fogcityjournal.com 2006

May 21, 2006

Top quality stage drag returned to San Francisco yesterday, the likes not seen since world famous Finocchio's lowered its skirts for the final time.

A sold out audience gave the premier "Sundays Are A Drag!' dazzler a standing ovation high atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in Harry Denton's Starlight Room.

The show continues weekly at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Sundays. Buffets are served with attentive real lasses filling up libations and filling out side-split dresses designed by Denton himself.

Nicole Lancie and Shannan Lack

Photo courtesy Harry Denton

Well known San Francisco impressionist Donna Sachet emceed the review, belting out lyrical moods reminiscent of Edith Piaf.

Donna Sachet

Hilarity reigned as Anita Fixx gave an eerily perfect rendition of a high pitched, and clearly randy, opera diva.

Anita Fixx

Fresh from Miami, Alexis Miranda came on like Eartha Kitt's attitudinal soul sister.

Alexis Miranda

Open House TV & Radio talk show hosts Paul Corso, left, and OUT Spoken TV, Open House Radio and Benefit Magazine's Tim Gaskin attend premiere with San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros seen at center.

Donna Sachet, Harry Denton, Anita Fixx, Cassandra Cass, and Alexis Miranda.

Denton, who describes himself as "fun and a classy sex maniac," has operated Harry Denton's Starlight Room for ten years.

He prides himself on great food, great entertainment, and great staff.

Staff, alluringly at the ready.

"I don't let them work more than four or five shifts so they don't burn out."

Denton honed his eye for good staff over a 25-year period, citing his current general manager as "fantastic."

Harry Denton's Starlight Room general manager Michael Pagan.

"Michael is the first manager I've ever had to have a lipstick drawer," revealed Denton, "and he doesn't wear it."

"Because of the girls, he's such a perfectionist. If it's not in the right color, if they forget their lipstick or if it's not in the right red, he has it in the drawer of lipstick.

"How is that for wonderful for detail? And he looks like Sean Connery."

Denton expertise also revitalized San Franciscans, he nodded.

"I've gotten thousands of people laid in San Francisco through my five clubs."

Out-of-towners were easy to spot, wide-eyed whispering "that can't be a man," stiff smiling throughout.

The innocent straight and jaded gay milieu harkened back to days of Finocchio's tourist feast on Broadway.

Joe Finocchio ran several speakeasies in the 30s, glimmering an idea for a new show when one speakeasy patron broke into a drunken Sophie Tucker imitation.

The audience loved it.

Finocchio's was born soon thereafter offering perfect hands, perfect adam's apples, perfect singing voices, and the most exquisite of gowns.

San Francisco Museum Photo

The tradition returned to San Francisco Sunday.

Stephanie B. Eastman




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