Trashy. Sexy. Surprisingly political. Self-described as America's favourite Beautyshop Quartet, the Kinsey Sicks are not your average drag act.
Wrapping well known songs around their manicured fingers, the quartet add luscious harmonies and clever lyrics that pack a comedic punch.
Starting with the line, "Heaven, hymen heaven…", Sinatra's "Cheek to Cheek" becomes an unexpectedly poignant anthem for religious freedom and harmony. Michael Jackson's "Heal the World" is turned on its head to make a statement on who really benefits from war. And Irish ballad "Danny Boy" is a sweet take on being in a relationship with a trans person.
The political bent of the show is not so surprising when you know the background of this 23-year strong a capella group. The original group of five were civil rights lawyers and political activists. Ben Schatz, the last remaining founding member, wrote Bill Clinton's HIV policy back in 1992.
Woven through the political statements are plenty of trashy songs and catty banter, keeping things light enough that if you weren't paying attention you'd barely clock the subversive undertones.
The incredible vocal ranges of the talented cast mingle beautifully, and they each sit comfortably in their well-developed characters. Rachel (Ben Schatz) is a militant feminist with no sexual impulse control. Winnie (Nathan Marken) is a loveably nerdy lesbian with a school teacher vibe. Glamourous Trixie (Jeff Manabat) floats above it all with just a hint of conceit. And sweet, slightly thick Trampolina (Spencer Brown) just doesn't really get it.
With this run of Dragapella, their Adelaide Fringe debut, the team has gone all out to appeal to a local audience. They expertly incorporate Adelaidean and antipodean references, from being seduced by the hate preachers in Rundle Mall to "Waltzing My Dildo" through customs (yes that does mean what you think it means).
Dragapella is a damn good time – fluffy as a feather boa but meatier than the equipment tucked between the Kinsey Sicks’ legs.