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New SoMa Club Oasis Serves up "Shit and Champagne"

The successor to Trannyshack is off and running.

 

D'Arcy Drollinger is opening a new play and a new nightclub at the same time, so you can imagine that he's a little taxed. Drollinger—a drag performer, playwright, and director—and his business partners (who include TrannyShack founder Heklina and Jason Beebout of the band Samiam) want the Oasis at 11th and Folsom to be a combination drag bar, cabaret theater, and dance club. Tonight, they christen the stage with a revival of last year's surprise hit, Shit & Champagne. (Yes, that's the title, and if you're offended please forward all complaints to web editor Scott Lucas slucas@modernluxury.com).

S&C ran for five months last year at the now-defunct bar Rebel. The venue's closure underscored a peculiar San Francisco problem: "We've got the enormous theaters downtown and we've got tiny, 49-seat places like the Hypnodrome, but there's really not much in the way of mid-size, 150-200 seat places for something like this," said Drollinger. “At the Rebel, audiences were coming and coming. Demand is there." The plan is that operating as a bar and nightclub in the busy SoMa entertainment corridor will subsidize the theater company. "The news these days is always about people being pushed out. This project is San Francisco people bringing in something new, not some outside people," he said.

The Oasis was originally a bathhouse. It's also been a leather bar, a sex club, and a salsa club, but when Drollinger and partners first stepped into it last year it was just one thing: a dump. "Instead of cleaning the carpets or taking them out, the previous owners had painted over them," Drollinger says. "Everything in the place had this sticky dust on it. The fix-up would have made a great reality show." They opened doors on New Year's Eve, but it was down to the wire: "Six hours before opening, it was still all saws and people hammering in there." 

In S&C, billed as a "whitesploitation comedy", Drollinger plays Champagne White, a "steamy plate of vanilla pudding" out for revenge; the show also involves drugs, prostitution, and sundry other wonderful things. It's not technically a drag show, in that only a few cast members are in drag and someone could play those parts non-drag if they wanted to (but why would you want to?). The revival runs for six weeks, and a sequel is tentatively planned for the spring.

In the meantime, Oasis hopes to run new programming seven nights a week and promote new local acts. "I figure, let's put people up there and take a chance. Why not?" 
 

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