After charming the pants off a significant portion of the Delaware Valley this year at New Hope Celebrates and the Red Room at Society Hill Playhouse, the force of nature known as Miss Richfield 1981 will be back in the area June 11 for a return performance at Society Hill Playhouse. This time around, the hilarious, outrageous and uniquely styled performer with a smile as bright and intense as a bug zapper graduates to Society Hill’s bigger main stage for her show “30 Years on the Throne.”
Since it’s rare to see Miss Richfield outside of her home state of Minnesota, a Kmart or Provincetown, Mass. (where she can be found all summer), PGN caught up with Miss Richfield to ask her what it is about our humble metropolis that keeps bringing her back.
PGN: You’ve recently performed in New Hope and Philadelphia. Do you enjoy returning to the area? MR1981: I love Philly! In fact, I’m now an official “ambassadoress” of the City of Philadelphia tourism! It’s so lovely how they roll out the red carpet and spare no expense. Again, they promised me a room at the popular Club Body Center on Chancellor. I adore that late-night clientele, and all those towels everywhere! In fact, a lot of Philly residents appear to be saving on laundry expenses by wearing just a single towel during their stay at the Chancellor. Unfortunately, some of those folks should consider also wearing a set of washcloths, if you know what I mean.
PGN: What can you tell us about your new show, “30 Years on the Throne”? MR1981: It’s my anniversary spectacular! And I’d love to give a lot details, but I left my reading glasses on the bus again, so I can’t consult my notes. Suffice it to say, most of my shows have a message. And I hope this isn’t getting too close to home for you and your readers, but the homos have such a history of crazy life choices and questionable decision-making, so I think it’s a great time to bring them a show about a successful life — mine!
PGN: Aside from your show in Philadelphia, will you be participating in any of Philadelphia’s Pride festivities that weekend? MR1981: This probably will surprise you, but I’m always a sucker for the bingo tent, along with a nice corn dog and a steaming hot cup of Sanka! In fact, I’m scheduling the entire day on Sunday to hang with the locals. It’s so fun just collecting free stuff, you know, a rainbow bag, a rainbow kerchief, a rainbow keychain, a rainbow yardstick or maybe a rainbow shoehorn if I get there early enough. PGN: It looks like you’re spending most of your summer on the East Coast. Do you get to spend any of your summer in Minnesota? MR1981: Sad to say, no! I’m going to miss both weeks of summer, which usually happens in mid-July! I’m always on the road these days, since my church keeps providing my bus fare to new locations. In fact, I’m pretty sure I haven’t been home since late February of 1997.
PGN: What do you like to do with your day when you’re not driving audiences wild on stage? MR1981: Probably trying to sell all that rainbow crap I get at the Pride celebration. I’ll need bus money for the trip back to Rehoboth Beach, Del. For the next couple of weeks I’m at the Blue Moon hosting “Cooking’s Not A Drag” every Tuesday with their chief cook, Lion, and “Rehoboth Beach Idol” every Wednesday night. It’s a blast, but the bus service isn’t nearly as reliable as those Chinese in NYC. Goodness, since they’ve branched out from laundry and nails into bus service, you can get across the country for five buck!
PGN: Who were your idols or role models growing up? MR1981: As I mentioned the last time we chatted, my idols are Mother Theresa and that Christian gal on “The View.” But I really modeled most of my professional ministry by the life of Virginia Christine (God rest her soul), who played Mrs. Olson, the Folgers coffee lady. Although I am a strict Sanka drinker myself, because caffeine makes me run like a faucet, I remain a huge fan of any woman who’s still not too proud to make her man a pot of coffee — and good enough for a second cup, every time!
PGN: Do aspiring beauty queens seek you out for advice? MR1981: I suspect that I get a lot of calls for advice, but I rarely get the messages because my phone’s been disconnected while I catch up on bills. This is getting a little personal. Can we wrap this up?
PGN: What advice would you give to people you might inspire who want to get into show business? MR1981: First, I comfort them by letting them know that cat food is an acquired taste. Then I quote them a scripture passage where Jesus spoke to his disciples, saying, “It’s important to be nice, but it’s nicer to be important!”