Picture it: New Hope, winter 2018.
For just one evening, the chilly bucolic frostiness of Bucks County will be transformed into the picturesque balminess of a particulary shared bungalow in Miami, at least in spirit, if not temperature.
The Golden Gays, the brainchild of a trio of drag performers (Jason B. Schmidt, a Bea Arthur impersonator, Gerry “Rosé” Mastrolia and Andy “Scarlet O’Whora” Crosten), take on the personas of the three “Golden Girls” in their holiday- themed “Thank Yule for Being a Friend” show Dec. 15 at The Rrazz Room.
According to Schmidt, the trio decided to get together on a lark sometime in the last summer, but the response was encouraging enough for them to grow it into sold-out engagements on stages all over New York City and beyond.
“Originally some of us girls decided to get dressed up and go to the Rue La Rue Café in New York, which has all of Rue McClanahan’s memorabilia [and sadly closed in late 2017], and do a little flash-mob thing,” he said. “We showed up and sang a few numbers, and it was from there we thought we should do more with this. It has definitely evolved from there.”
Schmidt said that using a beloved sitcom as the basis for their shows has brought them an audience outside the usual drag fan base.
“Because drag is becoming so mainstream, we’re getting mothers and they’re bringing their mothers,” he said.
As the trio’s Dorothy, the sarcastic heart of the TV show, Schmidt naturally sees himself as the driving force of the drag trio, even if this incarnation of the show focuses more on the naïve and sweet Rose.
“I’m definitely a Dorothy,” he said. “Dorothy is a leader and I, Jason, am a leader. I’ve been doing this much longer and that puts me in a leadership role as well, which lines up with the character. This show specifically is more about Rose because she’s obsessed with Christmas and she’s the more sentimental character. So it tends to hinge on her driving the story and Blanche and I are along for the ride.”
Schmidt said that on top of the holiday songs they work into the theme of the show, there will be a lot of nerd-level “Golden Girls” Easter eggs for fans of the sitcom to feast on.
“We pay homage to the two Christmas episodes from the series,” he said. “This show, the songs are holiday themed and they fit what we believe the characters would sing, but they are not necessarily from the show. We are definitely doing as many send-ups and winks to those crazy ‘Golden Girls’ fans because they eat that shit alive.”
The Golden Gays perform “Thank Yule for Being a Friend,” 8 p.m. Dec. 15 at The Rrazz Room, 385 W. Bridge St., New Hope; 888-596-1027.