The Kinsey Sicks, ‘America’s Favorite Dragapella Beauty Shop Quartet,’ wants to show Dallas a good time — and vice versa


MUSICAL SCALES | The current cast of The Kinsey Sicks includes co-founder Ben Schatz (Rachel), Spencer Brown (Trampolina), Jeff Manabat (Trixie) co-founder Irwin Keller (Winnie).


JEF TINGLEY  | Contributing Writer

Screen shot 2013-10-31 at 12.47.49 PMLong before the kids from Glee were busting out to “Don’t Stop Believin’” in four-part harmony for the pop charts, there was a group of gay friends who attended a 1993 Bette Midler concert dressed as The Andrews Sisters. They were subsequently asked if they all sang, and realizing they each had a knack for it, broke into song one day. Thus The Kinsey Sicks, nicknamed “America’s Favorite Dragapella Beauty Shop Quartet,” was born.

Among the hotshot ladies who comprise the group (and who make for even hotter guys) you’ll find Winnie (Irwin Keller), Rachel (Ben Schatz), Trixie (Jeff Manabat) and Trampolina (Spencer Brown). So why the Sicks (six) when there are four of them? It’s not because they are bad at math — well, not entirely.

“[It] comes from Alfred Kinsey’s scale, from zero to six, where zero means exclusively heterosexual and six means exclusively homosexual. And since math is hard, and there are only four of us in the group, we thought it was easier to identify as Sick,” explains Trampolina.

For the past 20 years, the San Francisco-based quartet has toured the world with shows in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia, as well as off-Broadway and at an extended run in Las Vegas. They delight audiences with spoofy send ups like “Rent a Homo,”

“Everything’s Coming Up Noses,” “We Arm The World,” and “BP Is Creepy.” The songs parody on pop culture, but also shine the light on real-life issues. The group attributes this savvy score to “chief lyricist” Rachel, a Harvard Law School graduate who started the first national AIDS legal program.

While they’ve been to North Texas before, this time the Sicks are bringing a whole new show for their Nov. 8 performance at the Majestic Theater. Set in a jungle, “America’s Next Top Bachelor Housewife Celebrity Hoarder Makeover Star Gone Wild!” blends together their unique mix of camp and political wit while also highlighting their own brush with reality TV show fame: performing on Season 3 of America’s Got Talent.

“It was performance that brought standing ovations from the audience and gushing praise from both Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan — the only thing they agreed on that year,” says Trampolina. “And the new show has wicked parodies, objectionable originals and some brilliant new songs about the ethics of stardom.”

Although from the liberal coast, The Sicks were quick to point out all the things they like to do while in Texas.

“Dallas has many fine museums worth visiting, and a walk through the arboretum makes for a lovely afternoon,” says Trixie. “But you’ll never find me at Love’s Travel Stop on Highway 20 between midnight and 4 a.m. Nope. That’s not me. Never heard of the place.”

And they have some love as well for local charities. Their performance (“America’s Next Top…!” as Trixie calls it), will benefit DFW Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Legacy Counseling Center.

“One of the lovely sisters, Sister Bertha Sinn, had the bad taste and questionable judgment to contact us [about it],” says Trampolina. “We’re so excited to take our show to the country of Texas.”

And if they had it all to do over again, how do the foursome think they would have met?

“We [would have] attended a Miley Cyrus concert dressed as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Ann Coulter.” Trixie speculates. “Of course we would have publicly condemned her and her music, but on the car ride home we’d fondly recalled her outrageous stage antics while singing her songs in glorious four-part harmony.”

Now that’s like the beginnings of a whole new show.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 1, 2013.