Backstage at a drag show is a fast-paced and unpredictable show itself.
Forget RuPaul’s Drag Race, the “Cherry Pop” nightclub is the place to be for backstage drama and zinging one-liners. Part “Coyote Ugly,” part “Burlesque” Assaad Yacoub’s colorful comedy shines a light on seven drag performers who seem flippant on the outside, but struggle with real problems on the inside.
Enter into the mix, "The Cherry” (Lars Berge), a term used for a newcomer, a virgin performer, who will give his inaugural performance amid the mayhem and conflict brewing in the wings.
The MC both onstage and backstage is Kitten, played by Bob the Drag Queen (Caldwell Tidicue). She must keep up with everyone’s curtain schedule, defuse any drama backstage including an aging suicidal entertainer (Tempest DuJour) who has just lost her life partner, and smooth out any tilted wigs that may have been caught in the verbal crossfires.
It’s a tough job, but in order for the show to go on, it must be done, every shady jab and accidental suicide attempt at a time.
The aforementioned "Cherry” tries to maneuver past the train wreck going on backstage, but inadvertently gets caught up in the category five windstorms along the way, making him question whether or not he is cut out to be a drag queen or not. Not only that, he's straight which infuriates some of the queens in the only plot point of this film that confused me.
“Cherry Pop” has an excellent cast who are no strangers to the camera, reality or otherwise. Although the names are changed in the film, the personalities feel the same with little to no nuance, but that’s fine because if you go see a movie starring Bob the Drag Queen and Detox, you want to see Bob the Drag Queen and Detox.
Making a lengthy cameo is Latrice Royale in what I can only assume is a soft homage to Divine's backwoods Earl in “Female Trouble." Here Royale plays a straight bar patron with emesis on funny. Yes, I meant emesis.
For all of its slapstick and palaver, “Cherry Pop” is a comedic distraction with a colorful cast both in their deliveries and ball gowns.
Cinematographer, Diego Gilly, turns up the saturation which makes every color, sequin and cooking face beam in technicolor realness.
Our hero’s journey is a satisfying one, but the real stars here are the Sirens whose calls are as sharp as the rocks waiting to slay him.
Colorful and energetic, "Cherry Pop," is a faced-paced comedy in Fierce Queen heels.
FilmOut presents "Cherry Pop," playing at the Hillcrest Cinemas Landmark Theater on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, from 7 pm to 9:30 pm.
Hillcrest Cinemas - Landmark Theatres are located at 3965 5th Ave. San Diego, 92103
Click HERE for tickets.