Detox discusses upcoming production ‘Femlins,’ art of local drag

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San Francisco resident drag queen Peaches Christ is in the process of concocting yet another musical drag parody, this time transforming the cult film “Gremlins” into a LGBTQ+ holiday special. Christ has chosen a “cornucopia of multi-talented gender illusionists,” as stated in her press release, such as “RuPaul’s Drag Race” competitors Miz Cracker, Phi Phi O’Hara and Detox, as well as local drag queen Migitte Nielsen to star alongside her in her upcoming show, “Femlins.” Christ, who often emphasizes the importance of supporting local drag with her shows at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre, has undoubtedly captured the hearts of drag queens she’s worked with as well as the city she calls home.

I don’t know too much about the role because we haven’t received a script or anything yet. It’s all kind of up in the air for me,” Detox mentioned during an interview with The Daily Californian. Regardless, she’s excited to work with Christ, and explained that this has been “a long time coming.” 

We’ve been playing tag basically for a number of years, trying to find the right time and the right roles,” Detox said. “When this project came along, I know initially she had me cast as Phi Phi’s character. And then she got to thinking and decided to put me into the character of the mother, which I find is more fitting.”

With Christ’s productions often having tight preparation schedules, drag queens with packed schedules sometimes find themselves having as little as two days to prepare. “I never feel like I’m prepared for anything,” Detox said with a laugh. She weighed in on what a struggle it is to find time for rehearsals between worldwide tours, business responsibilities and simply life — joking that she was home for a few days, only to leave on a trip in the morning. It’s certainly difficult for multiple high-profile drag queens such as Detox to coordinate with Christ. Amid constantly traveling and juggling countless shows, generating a cohesive finished product seems almost elusive. Detox expressed confidence that Christ can pull it off. “I know we’re all very capable,” she said reassuredly. “Especially with Peaches being so familiar with having to work in this way, I think that we’re in good hands.

San Francisco’s drag scene isn’t just one for the locals, however. Having garnered immense fame for being unique and especially gritty, the San Francisco drag community continues to draw attention for its wide array of shows, sense of unity and innovation. Detox proclaimed her love for the city’s LGTBQ+ culture: “It’s really one of the cities in America where you definitely feel the pride in our community and the art of drag and the entire LGBTQIA+ realm that is out there. You just feel everyone is so loving and so proud to be weird and queer.” 

Christ, known best for enriching the San Francisco drag scene with her shows, regularly showcases local drag queens alongside their famous counterparts — an absolutely necessary part of expanding drag culture beyond what’s only seen on television. Detox mentioned that her ability to work with local drag queens is essential to exposing fans to undiscovered drag talent found in countless cities. “Especially with the ‘Drag Race’ fandom, they’re really coming in to see the ‘Drag Race’ girls. It’s great for us to be able to share the stage with people who deserve to have some spotlight on themselves,” she said. “Because none of us would be around if it weren’t for local queens to begin with.”

Detox hasn’t performed in a theatrical production like Christ’s since 2011 and welcomes her involvement in “Femlins” as a fun challenge. “I know it’s going to be funny, I know it’s going to be high camp. I grew up with the movie ‘Gremlins,’ and I can’t wait to see how (Christ) interprets such a cult classic sci-fi comedy into a drag aesthetic and still maintains the integrity of the original picture.”

“Femlins” has a large pair of shoes to fill following Christ’s historically humorous and free-spirited shows at the Castro Theatre.  But with the talent and allure of big-name drag queens such as Detox, backing the production, as well as the eager and unwavering support from the surrounding community, the show is steadfastly moving along the conveyor belt to success. Busy schedules aside, many of the drag queens in Christ’s arsenal have already proven their prowess on TV and on stages across the world. Even if two days of constant rehearsal is all that can be mustered, the show is bound to deliver laughs, camp and glitter galore.

Contact Pooja Bale at [email protected].