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From Chicks With Dicks to Transvestism Cabaret: Twenty-Five Years of Drag Entert

by our Editors in Events & Agenda , 05 december 2018

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar


Transvestism Cabaret Amsterdam is in its twenty-fifth year. Since 1993, the “ladies” and some gentlemen are presenting this sparkling theatre shows, with glitter and glamour to the fullest. These shows have live songs, self-written or modified, cabaret-like sketches, and vaudeville. Preferably with a wink and a hint of oh-la-la... and the Christmas editions are coming up!


We asked Coco Coquette, who has been involved from the start with Chicks With Dicks, about the ins-and-outs. Coco, could you tell us about how it all began?

“After the death of Hellun Zelluf in 1992, night-life drag performances disappeared into the background. But these nights were dearly missed. Divas such as Vera Springveer and Dolly Bellefleur went their own way with solo performances in the theatre. The partner of Hellun Zelluf, Mizz Mopsie, had already organized some club nights in the former disco Steps with the theme ‘Club Wigwam presents: Chicks with Dicks.’ This was expanded into a monthly night at Club Mazzo on the Rozengracht, ‘Chicks With Dicks present: Club Wigwam.’ Our concept: funny drag performances in a nice atmosphere. That we would still be doing this twenty-five years on I never expected."


Amanda Lear even dropped by for a visit...
“Mizz Mopsie already knew me and asked if I was interested in co-hosting at Club Wigman alongside Dé Coupé and Wilma de Vries for a series of monthly events. The first night was a great success. The flyer said: ‘Guest appearance by Amanda Lear’ and then in tiny letters: ‘look-a-like contest.’ Rows of fans were queueing. They all wanted to see this famous androgynous disco queen of the seventies. Besides complaints, it resulted in a hilarious sketch on TV show ‘Ook dat nog!.’ Our name was established.”

What about those dicks?
“Chicks With Dicks was a nom de guerre. It worked well in the night-life. But when we started to perform more in established theatres, this name often raised false expectations as everything stayed respectable, even though Mizz Mopsie sometimes gave people a sneak preview of her ultra-short skirt. When we started appearing on TV more regularly, we gradually changed our name into Transvestism Cabaret Amsterdam.”


From clubs to theatre... and TV
“The performances at the club nights at the Mazzo were increasingly theatrical, thus giving us the idea of a full-length show. First at the Mazzo and later on even at the Stadsschouwburg for EuroPride in 1994. We then did the Comedy Club on the Max Euwe Plein. But that stage was so small, that at times it was not big enough for all of us.”

“I went looking for a new venue. However, there aren’t that many intimate theatres in Amsterdam. Winston Kingdom in the Warmoesstraat had that kind of atmosphere. We were welcomed for shows on Friday and, later on, on Sunday night. Our show was followed by Club Vegas by Erin Tasmania, which was a perfect fit. We did this for two decades. Winston Kingdom is no more and was converted into the umpteenth tourist restaurant. At the moment, we are still going strong at Casa Rosso for the tenth season. This theatre also is a perfect fit. In December, we will be billed every Sunday afternoon. We also found a spot for our EuroSong Travestival in May: the Volta hall.”


Stars came and went...
“Many stars have giving a guest performance, but I would like to specifically name two, to know Molly Strychnine, who was there from the beginning, as well as the late Jet Lag who was the driving force behind it all alongside myself. With Jet I also appeared on TV - ‘Night Suite,’ ‘Life & Cooking,’ the Dutch version of ‘The Weakest Link,’ Paul de Leeuw, and Joop van den Ende, to a monthly item for TV North Holland. I still miss Jet enormously.”

Twenty-five years in the world of drag sounds like an eternity...
“Fortunately, we are complemented by up-and-coming young stars, with not only drag, but also variety, such as pole dancing and magicians. This keeps our program varied. I think it is important to continue to have fun with each other (and that you know your lines). Our having fun in the dressing room also benefits the show. For twenty-five years now, we do our very best to give our audience a very pleasant afternoon or evening!”


 ‘Symphonica in Casa Rosso,’ sixth edition:
December 9-16-23-26-30, 2018 at 15.00. Info and tickets: travestiecabaret.nl



 





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