Jeff Manabat of the Kinsey Sicks Interview

By Jeff Walsh

The Kinsey Sicks have been part of my life in San Francisco for as long as I can remember. But, these days, this dragapella beauty shop quartet is spreading its music and message (and STDs, in the case of Rachel) throughout North America as a constantly touring group. The group was first profiled in Oasis back in November of 1999, and have never stopped coming up with hilarious shows, outlandish improv, and "Oh no, they didn't!" moments.

2007 will see the DVD release of their first-ever concert film "I Wanna Be A Republican" (currently playing festivals and seeking a distributor) as well as an episodic reality show, "Almost Infamous," documenting their journey to debuting a show in Las Vegas. The group consists of four members: Ben Schatz as the slutty Rachel, Irwin Keller as the lesbolicious neatfreak Winnie, Chris Dilley as the vapid vampy Trampolina, and Jeff Manabat as the glamorous (and easy) Trixie.

I got the chance to see their concert film at the gay film festival in San Francisco in June, and was surprised to hear some of what they discussed in the Q&A, about their travels on the road, and how their act gets a free pass to discuss politics in a different way because, well, they're singing drag queens! Living in San Francisco, I only get to see their homecoming shows, where everyone's in on the jokes, has known them for years, and it's more of a celebration. But when they tour colleges and small towns, you never know what the reception might be.

The group is currently out performing their holiday show "Oy Vey In A Manger: Christmas Carols and Other Jewish Music," and if you are in one of the cities where they are coming, you really need to do yourself a favor and get tickets (some of their venues are 21+, though).

Recently, Jeff Manabat and I chatted over lunch in the Castro, and discussed his immersion into the Kinsey world, and the importance he felt in making sure Trixie became an Asian member of the singing group, and not just a role cast by an Asian actor/singer.