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Legends VI: A Musical Celebration of Cherry Grove’s Homecoming Queens: Hullabaloo: A ’60s Musical Flashback




                                      By Jeannie

                                                                  Photos by Ray Bagnuolo


Of all the ambitious genres produced by the Arts Project, what the Grove does best, and is internationally for is its spectacular array of Drag Queens…and for those like myself, hungering for a last glimpse of them all, Matt Baney’s Labor Day send off certainly satiated my hunger.



And what better frame than the 60’s with its big hair and psychedelic costumes!

And so well suited to the “mature” audience a we were on a nostalgic ride, not only to the music but also, as a clever addition, the commercials, to which many in the crowed sang along.


Acting as emcee a unique stage appearance in a jump down from the booth and onto the boards, script in hand, was Matt Baney, the show’s creator, director, set designer and technical directi9or behind the spotlights


  The show opened with a parade of Queens



















 Queens on the runway included (in chronological order):

1976-77 Panzi, 1990 Philomena, 2000 Good/Angela Mercy, 2001 China, 2002 Ariel Sinclair, 2004 Donna Piranha, 2005 Ivanna Cocktail, 2006 Coco Love, 2007 Lola, 2008 Margo, 2009 Urban Sprawl, 2010 Beach DeBree, 2011 YaNeeda Dunes, 2014 Whore D’Oeuvre, and 2015 Demi-Tasse – all looking marvelously glam and chic, augmented by Grove celebs Bella, Susan and Ruth Freedner, Paulette Manos, Sue Panzer, Angela Smith, Jennie Mandelino, Diana DiPrima, Edie Ringel.


Drawing in the 60’s songbook were famous renditions of:

 “Heat Wave,”, “It’s in His Kiss”, “Dancing in the Streets,” “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “My Guy,” “Shout,” and “I Only Wanna Be with You,” culminating in the familiar “Downtown,” with audience participation  who also sang along with the commercials for Alka Seltzer jingle, Crackerjacks , Doublemint Gum and a special reference to Which Twin Has The Tony?.


Nina Bianchi plays her own composition

Bella in Wait Mr. Postman anxious for letter

…and gets a picture of Panzi!


Angela Merci does the to9ngue twisting, lip synching Name Game

Donna as the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter

Uses a little substance to improve the mood

Panzi as Dominique, the singing nun with the twins as back up – the funniest moment in the show

CoCo Love spills the dirt in Harper Valley PTA

Doublemint gum doubles your pleasure! The Twins

Matt leads into the hippie Make Your Own Music

Ari8el – These Boots Were Made for Walking

NO Triplets like These!!! In He’s So Fine (apologies to Bandwagon)

Dominatrix Whore D’Oeuvre used “Stand by Your Man” to torture victims from the audience

Panzi – Janis Joplin actually gave you a piece of her heart (ugh)!


Margo the ultimate hippie (not with that hair) in Aquarius


Philomena in Where the Boys Are shows how accommodating she can be


Demi spectacular in Goldfinger

Ivanna’s solo was “Dancing in the Streets” led into a parade if the Biggest Hair for the grand finale.”

Gorgeous and ingenious spotlight on the Wigs to “Hair”.

CGCAI Board of Directors


Matt closed the show remarking that this is the last time the Grove will see the theater (the oldest continuously operating LGBT Theater in the country and a landmark) as it is; it will be renovated for next summer.

Marked as Legends VI, will VII be in the future?