By Jeff Walsh
"I Wanna Be A Republican" finds The Kinsey Sicks at the top of their game. This filmed concert (now on DVD) brings their talent to an even wider audience.
The premise of the show is that the Kinseys are hosting a Republican fundraiser, stalling for time until President Bush arrives. Like every Kinsey show, it doesn't settle for the easy targets and skewers everyone by the end of the show.
Anyone who initially dismisses a show by "singing drag queens" is in for a surprise. The entire set-up of the show as a GOP fundraiser gives the material a great platform. In their opening number, "I Wanna Be A Republican," they sing:
Lower taxes are God's plan
Global warming helps my tan
Give a gun to every man
To protect us from non-Aryans
When you know you're better than
All those non-Americans
There's no need to join the Klan
Just become Republican
Making these selling points for the Republican Party, sold with a straight face rather than an indictment, is clearly funnier. But, the Kinseys have never lacked when it comes to finding the funny. The amazing thing is how the material has gotten so much better over the years, but the act will still go wherever the joke is. Rachel is still as dirty and offensive as ever, and the songs remain very sex-positive. They somehow elevated their game, without compromising or toning down their material to get there.
The 84-minute concert features a blend of the political ("Be A Slut," "We Shall Overcome," "All The White Places,"), parodies ("I've Been Through Parasites (But I've never had VD)," "When You're Good to Dubya," "We Arm the World"), and originals ("Clean," "Rent-A-Homo," "Jerry's Song"), although most songs cross between each of the categories.
"Jerry's Song," dedicated to the person who played Vaselina (Trampolina's predecessor), is a poignant, heartfelt song that makes you cry in the middle of a show that at first blush seems incapable of such range. There are very few shows that can make you cry, laugh, and think in such a short period of time, and with such abrupt turns into those different directions.
That is the beauty of the Kinsey's act, though. They get license to say and do anything because of the drag. If Ben, Irwin, Chris and Jeff got onstage and did the same show, it wouldn't work; but as Rachel, Winnie, Trampolina and Trixie, that's not a problem.
The production looks great as well, cutting swiftly between the group and the audience, getting the reaction shots from the crowd, and never missing a beat for the length of the show. The Kinseys have always been very hands-on with their shows: writing them, blocking them, coming up with the costumes, arrangements, and their attention to detail is all over the production.
If this movie screens in your area, don't miss it. And we'll be sure to tip you off when the DVD is on the way.