by Jason LeRoy
From Baby Jane and Blanche to Beyoncé and Solange, show business has always loved a sister story. With that in mind, Peaches Christ Productions is inaugurating this year’s Halloween season with a can’t-miss production starring the leading siblings of the drag world: Seattle sisters BenDeLaCreme, fresh from being crowned Miss Congeniality on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6, and season 5 champ Jinkx Monsoon, who previously collaborated with Peaches Christ on a sold-out touring production of Grey Gardens.
These two nellies of the northwest are teaming up with Ms. Christ for a tribute to one of the biggest cult favorites of the ‘90s, and arguably the gayest Halloween movie in history, Disney’s Hocus Pocus! Sinister shenanigans will run amok, amok, amok at the Castro Theatre on Saturday, September 27, with performances at both 3 and 8 p.m. Below, the “terminally delightful” BenDeLaCreme discusses what fans can expect from the show, ‘90s nostalgia, and the time Jinkx Monsoon gave a crystal to RuPaul.
by Jason LeRoy
Well darlins, it’s that time of year again—Peaches Christ is presenting her glorious annual tribute to the immortal apex of naked ambition, natural talent, and nuanced line readings known as Showgirls. And since it’s the 17th year Peaches is erupting out of that iconic Cristal Connors volcano, she decided to christen it the NC-17th Annual Showgirls. Come on down to the Castro Theatre on Saturday, August 23, to witness an unforgettable stage show starring Peaches, her tragic and flawed sidekick Martiny, Lady Bear, Mahlae Balenciaga—and none other than original Showgirls cast member Rena Riffel! The festivities begin at 8 p.m. and tickets are available at peacheschrist.com.
Since it’s the NC-17th screening, Peaches decided this would be a great opportunity to count down her top 10 favorite films to ever get this notorious rating. The NC-17 was first introduced in 1990 to replace the X (which used to be an actual rating, not just boilerplate porn marketing language). While several classic films succeeded despite receiving X ratings—including Midnight Cowboy, which won the Oscar for Best Picture, and Last Tango in Paris—it gradually became synonymous with so-called “adult movies” during the home-video porn boom of the ‘70s and ‘80s. When several high-profile art films, including one listed below, were given the damning X rating in 1989, the MPAA finally lurched into action after years of complaints and created a new rating intended for films that have explicit adult content but aren’t pornography: the NC-17 rating, meaning “No Children Under 17 Allowed.”
By Michael Varrati
In this age of reboots, remakes, and reimaginings, it’s not uncommon to hear the modern film fan wax nostalgic for an era of cinema when all the ideas were fresh and new. While there is certainly merit to the nitpicks of these proud protectors of celluloid, often the righteous few forget that some of the silver screen’s most audacious, genre-defining moments were actually remakes or reimaginings of previous works.
John Carpenter’s The Thing comes to mind, adapted from Howard Hawks’ The Thing from Another World. Also, David Cronenberg’s definitive body-horror epic, The Fly, which originally hit the screens in an earlier, safer incarnation starring Vincent Price.
But perhaps the most beloved and popular remake of all time is one that many people may not even be aware is a remake. Now, I don’t mean to cause any disenchantment here, but the hard truth remains that the gem of 1939 and perennial classic The Wizard of Oz is not the story’s first filmic representation, and to the shock of gays everywhere, Judy Garland is not the first Dorothy. While it is an inarguable fact that The Wizard of Oz is a groundbreaking entry into the world of motion pictures, and its place in history is well-earned, it is certainly not the first comer to the land of Oz. Hell, it’s not even second or third.
by Jason LeRoy
When Peaches Christ and Sharon Needles first worked together in 2012, they played among the most iconic characters in movie history in THE SILENCE OF THE TRANS. Last year, they were ‘90s teen-angst witches in THE CRAFT. So for their third annual collaboration, it only makes sense that they’re embodying the most iconic witch story in history, not to mention the movie that single-handedly turned the entire country gay while WWII distracted its leaders.
That’s right: THE WIZARD OF OZ is finally getting the Peaches Christ treatment!
Peaches will embrace her inner Judy complex in the role of Peachy Gale, and Sharon—the high priestess of Party City herself—will go green in a totally non-environmental way (all that hairspray is hell on the ozone layer) as the Wicked Witch. It’ll be a tornado of excitement when we gather at another queer institution beloved by old queens, the Castro Theatre, on Saturday, July 12 at 3 and 8pm—ONE DAY ONLY!
By Jason LeRoy
Are you tired of buying the usual dull Mother’s Day gifts? Well, your mom is tired of getting them. She’s had it with flowers and perfume and being taken out to lunch someplace boring where you know you won’t run into any of your tricks.
Since your fed-up mom is craving something different, why not take her to a celebration of the most hilariously lethal fed-up mom in movie history: Beverly Sutphin, legendarily portrayed by Kathleen Turner in cult-movie godfather John Waters’ 1994 classic Serial Mom!
For its 20th anniversary, Serial Mom is getting the full Peaches Christ treatment, including an all-new stage show inspired by the movie—plus Misty Sutphin herself, pop culture icon Ricki Lake, live and in person for a post-show Q&A (conducted by Ms. Christ) and merchandise signing.
Heads will roll at the Castro Theatre on Saturday, May 10, at 8 p.m. In the meantime, check out Peaches Christ’s handpicked list of the 20 greatest moms in movie history, including her commentary.
By Michael Varrati
Just as hearing certain songs can instantly transport us to times gone by; there are some cinematic experiences that will always contain the stamp of the film’s initial viewing. However, it’s more than just remembering the first time you saw a movie. Some films carry with them attributes that are almost impossible to describe, an “it factor” that serves as a perfect culmination of the movie’s content and where you happen to be in your own life. It’s a little cinematic synergy, if you will, that makes that particular flick special to you in ways that aren’t always easy to put into available words. It just clicks. You know them when you find them, and, as the film geeks we are, you cherish them deeply.
For me, Amy Heckerling’s Clueless is one of those movies.
In the summer of 1995, my family had taken a brief respite to the small city of Flagstaff, Arizona. I remember distinctly that it was the month of July, because it was that long stretch of the season that tends to be almost creepily hot. When I wasn’t spending my time by the pool or trying to raise money to buy a new Super Nintendo game, I was most typically glued to MTV. I know it may seem weird to the kids of today, but the once proud network had not yet slipped into the reality TV abyss and was still pumping out some pretty hip content. Even as a kid, I wasn’t particularly one to fall for ad campaigns or the latest trends, but somewhere in the midst of Road Rules reruns and Blind Melon videos, I started to take notice MTV was aggressively promoting this teen flick about a Beverly Hills mallrat.
After about a week of getting inundated with Alicia Silverstone (who I had previously only known as “that Aerosmith girl”), I caved and cajoled my mom into taking me to Flagstaff’s little theater to see the movie.
…and dare I say? It was love at first sight.
by Jason LeRoy
After a prolific 2013 that saw collaborations with queens such as Jinkx Monsoon, Sharon Needles, and Alaska Thunderfuck, midnight movie priestess Peaches Christ is kicking off her 2014 programming slate by working with one of the most notorious RuPaul’s Drag Race girls of them all: the one and only Willam Belli, whose controversial appearance (and unexplained disqualification) on the show’s fourth season made him one of the most talked-about contestants in the show’s history. Not that Willam needed the scandal to make an impression—from his Barbie-pretty looks to his fantastically dry wit, he was always destined to be a contender.
Now Willam will bring those assets to Peaches Christ’s first tribute to the ‘90s mega-classic Clueless. In an all-new original pre-show called Get a Clue!, Willam will play a character based on Alicia Silverstone’s Cher, Christ will pay homage to Brittany Murphy’s hapless Tai, and Mahlae Balenciaga will embody Stacey Dash’s non-polyester-hair-wearing Dionne. Baldwins, Bettys, and—yes—even Monets can check it out at the Castro Theatre on Saturday, March 8, at 8 p.m. Here’s a full transcript of my chat with Willam, who was recovering from the RuPaul’s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons at the time of our conversation.
By Michael Varrati
I’ve never been one of those single people who carry a sense of vitriol for Valentine’s Day. While it’s true I don’t have a paramour with whom to share the holiday, I just don’t quite understand the need to allow an embittered sense of self-pity ruin what could otherwise be a good time. Furthermore, Valentine’s Day really should be a day of celebration for everyone, because it signals the fact that, in less than 24 hours, a shit ton of candy is about to get discounted at the local drug store.
If you can’t find the love in that, then honey, I don’t know what to tell you.
However, while I take no issue with Cupid’s special day, regular readers will be happy to know that I’m still undeniably me, and that means I can’t let this lover’s holiday slip by totally unscathed. While I do honestly appreciate Valentine’s Day, I’ve always had a habit of celebrating it in a way that is hugely, shall we say, non-traditional.
You see, whether I have a Valentine or not, one of my favorite things to do on this most romantic of days is to take in slices of cinema that highlight couples for whom the “til death do us part” portion of love is brought to the uncomfortable forefront. Maybe it’s a little sadistic, but there’s nothing quite like cuddling up to a date, throwing in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and seeing if they’ll stay snuggled up to you as George and Martha descend into martial dysfunction.
I mean, can you imagine a better evening? I know I can’t.
The truth is, I just love movies about love…gone wrong.
By Michael Varrati
It’s a well-known fact that here at Peaches Christ HQ, we’re a deeply spiritual bunch.
As such, we often turn our thoughts to the Holy Trinity, allowing the solace of their presence and worldly miracles to heal us in times of sorrow. In the darkest of hours, it is their light that brings us through to a fabulous new morning.
Of course, for those less devout than we, I’m speaking of none other than the divine trio of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton.
…and if you thought we were talking about something else, you really haven’t been paying attention.
Of course, independently, each of these women is a dynamic force of entertainment, a towering beacon of greatness that elicits the heartiest of gay gasps when even one of their names is mentioned. Bring them together, however, and you have a union tantamount to Nick Fury assembling the Avengers.
Such a summit of sass occurred approximately once in the winter of 1980, and the result was the epic masterpiece that is 9 to 5.
Hugely celebrated for over three decades, the Colin Higgins directed story of three women in the workplace who turn the tables on their misogynistic boss remains as popular as ever for the outstanding performances of its three leads and continued relevant commentary on the glass-ceiling politics of the modern workplace. Also, it’s just one hell of a fun film.
by Jason LeRoy
For her final movie event of 2013, Peaches Christ will collaborate with her longtime frienemy Heklina and RuPaul’s Drag Race season two fan-favorite Pandora Boxx for her first-ever celebration of the feminist comedy blockbuster Nine to Five. The screening of the film will be preceded by “WORK!”, an all-new stage show featuring Christ playing Judy (Jane Fonda), Heklina as Violet (Lily Tomlin), and Boxx starring as Doralee (Dolly Parton). Below, Boxx discusses what fans can expect from the show, her current TV obsessions, and which Real Housewife she’d lip sync for her life against.
What are you earliest memories of watching Nine to Five?
I watched the movie when I was a kid and I knew every word of it. I think I’ve known every word of it for years! It is one of my absolute favorite movies ever. The combination of the three of them together—Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin—was just brilliant. I actually watched it last night for costumes ideas, and it still makes me laugh. Everybody is just so perfect for their character.
How did a Nine to Five project with Peaches Christ come about?
I’ve known about Peaches for a long time and I’ve been an admirer of her work. We’ve been talking about working together and doing something, so it was just finding the right project. I was talking about projects with Jose A. Guzman Colon, a photographer whom we’d both worked with, and I was like, “What about Nine to Five? Have they ever done that? I would love to do that!” So he talked to her, she called me, and I was like, “Yes, let’s do it.”