by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE
Russ King’s hilarious holiday drag satire pokes fun of Christmas, religion, sexual orientation, Mayan doomsday predictions and Minnetonkans. No group is safe from Miss Richfield 1981’s sharp-tongued, spike-heeled humor. King’s hysterically funny Miss Richfield 1981: We’ll All Be Dead By Christmas, back for its 13th and possibly final year, is a holiday tradition for many of the repeat audience members and a break from traditional, treacly holiday fare for newcomers. King’s beauty queen alter ego, Miss Richfield 1981, was created after an impromptu idea of spicing up a friend’s party led to stage performances. He has performed annually on Illusion Theater’s stage since 1996 and throughout the country.
The show mixes audience participation, singalongs, video montages, and a thinly woven end-of-the-world theme into a reason to celebrate diversity, while poking fun at our prejudices, provincialism and poor fashion choices. With a beehive hairdo, spiked heels and better legs than mine, Miss Richfield screeches and prances her way through a largely improvised set designed to challenge any notion of political correctness. She had the audience shouting with laughter and approval at her Michelle Bachmann digs as well as gay and lesbian stereotypes. If you are in the mood for crazy drag queens and laugh-out-loud holiday satire, this is the show for you! If you are seated near the stage, be prepared to be “dragged” into the fun. Fashion faux pas, hairstyles and hometowns were favorite targets.
MISS RICHFIELD 1981’s 2012: WE’LL ALL BE DEAD BY CHRISTMAS
Written and performed Russ King, accompanied by pianist Todd Emanuel Price, directed by Michael Robins at the Illusion Theater on the 8th floor of the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, 528 Hennepin Ave. in Minneapolis, through December 16, 2012. Tickets $30-$38 at 612-339-4944 or online at www.illusiontheater.org.