After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]

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Off the scale:

By |2003-04-03T09:00:00-05:00April 3rd, 2003|Uncategorized|

ROYAL OAK/ANN ARBOR – Many people, as they grow older, may feel that their lives are not quite what they need – that their ability to express themselves and their true feelings are constrained by jobs, image and a need to fit in to the general world.
The Kinsey Sicks say “Forget all that!”
These former corporate types have shed their careers and some would say their wardrobes to form what is now know as America’s Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet.
They make their Motor City debut this month with two outrageous shows in Royal Oak and Ann Arbor. The group, which delights in bad puns, is named for the one-to-six scale devised by Alfred Kinsey to measure sexual orientation, in which a six (get it?) signifies exclusively homosexual behavior.
This is no normal drag show – these guys left behind big-time, professional careers to follow a dream of high-brow satire in bad makeup and big hair.
Their leader, Ben Schatz, attorney and once button-down advisor to President Clinton, served as the administration’s AIDS advisor for two years, leaving in 1999. His Kinsey Sicks personality, Rachel, is as foul-mouthed as she is outspoken. Schatz told the New York Times that Rachel is a “direct response to the work I was doing,” which required him to be a “likable, respectable, consumable homosexual – on TV … But being diplomatic 24 hours a day really doesn’t suit me, as Rachel can attest.”
Another colorful character, Winnie, is also a transformed attorney. Keller is a one-time corporate lawyer and later the executive director of an AIDS legal services agency in Chicago. Winnie is a nerdy lesbian with thick glasses, who begins each performance with a bossy command that the audience sit boy-girl, boy-girl.
The other Kinseys have also created characters with big personalities and big hair. Maurice Kelly, 40, as the platinum blonde Trixie, and Chris Dilley,29, as slinky Trampolina, are a pair of divas that spar, sass and tell it like they see it. Dilley was the last to join the group, originally as an understudy. Keller is the costume, set and lighting designer, and he and Dilley arrange the songs that Schatz writes.
The Kinseys began innocently enough as a group of friends playing around at parties and fundraising events. The act took on a life of its own, though, when a talent producer recognized the extraordinary abilities of the group.
His instincts were right. The Kinsey Sicks have become one of the hottest gay acts in the country.
Even the Harvard Alumni Bulletin extolled the amazing talents of the group, and particularly Schatz, a school alumnus (Law School ’85). The Review said: “They say you can be anything you want with a Harvard Law degree. You can even be Rachel. It doesn’t take long to get to know her. She bounds onto the stage all mouth and hair bow. She barks and she bites. She writes the songs that make the whole world plotz with laughter. She is, says someone who knows her very, very well, everything you don’t want your daughter to be. Including a man.”
“Between The Lines” is bringing The Kinsey Sicks to Michigan to celebrate its 10th Anniversary. They will appear April 23 at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak, and April 24 at The Ark in Ann Arbor. Tickets are $30 and are available through www.boxofficetickets.com or by calling 1-800-494-TIXS (-8497).

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