We Gave the World New Ways to Dream
Okay, I intended this to be a quick blog, but New York’s Monarchs have appeared in so many film and television projects that the list keeps going. It’s far from comprehensive, but it’s true! And we’re talking more than appearing in interviews or news stories: most of us have done that, but beyond the news, there’s all of this:
Starting with the very first Empress, Sybil Bruncheon, whose cable access shows in the 1980’s included A La Maison, Be Our Guest and Stonewall After Dark, we’ve made it our work of getting in front of every camera we can find! Here’s a clip of Be Our Guest, with special guest star “Ed Wynn” — or rather, a very young Gefil Tefish, who in 20 years of so, would become Empress.
Empress VII Coco LaChine appeared in the Robert DeNiro/Philip Seymour Hoffman film Flawless.
Empress IX Philomena co-hosted Manhattan Cable TV’s Party Talk for two and a half years, appeared with Empress V Razor Sharp on The Joan Rivers Show with other queens from ICNY, and said, “I did two episodes of ‘Law and Order’ (WHO HASN’T?)” Well, Philomena, you seem to be the only one on THIS list who’s done Law and Order, so most of us haven’t!
Empress XII Panzi appeared as next door neighbor Mary Ellen McGillicuddy on The Brini Maxwell Show (see her make meatballs here!) and has appeared in no less than four separate documentaries on Cherry Grove, including two on the Invasion of the Pines, of which she was a founding instigator. Catch her in Cherry’s in Season, also featuring Empress XVII Demi Tasse, The Panzi Invasion (also featuring Empress I Sybil), Invasion of the Pines and When Ocean Meets Sky.
In 1996, the glorious film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar opened and not only featured Empress I Jose Sarria as a judge in the opening drag pageant sequence, which also featured future Empress Anne Tique (XIII and XXIII), but also Empress VII Coco LaChine and Empress IX Philomena and future Empresses Victoria Weston (XIV) and Fiona St. James (XV) as gorgeous flowers in the final garden party sequence, along with New York drag royalty Hedda Lettuce and Princess Diandra and icon Candis Cayne! Don’t blink, they go by fast!
Empress XIII and XXIII Anne Tique was featured on The View in 2013 during their Halloween Contest and won Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Halloween Contest as well! She and Empresses XVII Demi Tasse, XIX Robin Kradles and XXIV Farrah Moans were also featured in a bar and jail scene (what happened there!) on an episode of One Life to Live!
Empress XV Fiona St. James is recognized world wide for her recurring character (called Fiona as well) of the “ring girl” in HBO’s hit drama OZ as well as her role in the movie Stonewall…wait, was she leading the police??
The 2003 HBO Miniseries Angels in America featured a number of ICNY Members, including Empresses Sybil, Philomena, Panzi and Fiona and future Empress Gefil Tefish, and about two dozen other ICNY Members! How many can you pick out?
Empress XVII Demi Tasse appeared in Fur with Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey, Jr., and is so well known for her Barbara Streisand impression that she appeared at Streisand’s Madison Square Garden concert!
Empress XIX Robin Kradles is the subject of the documentary, She is She, and has appeared in both Disco Love, Love, Love and Tomorrow Comes Today as a Marlena Dietrich Impersonator, and in the film American Exquisite.
Empress XX Gefil Tefish arranged for a group of performers to be a part of the finale of Celebrity Apprentice when Joan Rivers won, including Empress XIX Robin Kradles and Empress XXV to be Pepperica Swirl.
Empress XXII Charlene Chivoe makes an appearance (as does Empress Fiona, my goodness, that one gets around!) in the 1997 comedy Kiss Me, Guido.
Empress XXIV Farrah Moans appeared in the legendary Drag Queen challenge episode of Project Runway.
Empress XXV Pepperica Swirl (as alter ego Alex Bartlett) was a principal cast member of Mad Fashion on Bravo TV, and episode 2 featured the cast making a dress for Dina Manzo, and a wig and headpiece for Pepper for the 25th Annual Night of A Thousand Gowns. Pepper also appeared as Lady Bunny’s Grieving Date at the funeral of Max, Joan Rivers’ dog on Joan Knows Best, the Joan and Melissa Show.
And your humble correspondent, Empress XXVI Witti Repartee has appeared on more cutting room floors than she can count, but finally made it onto the big screen in a 2016 documentary Men in Heels, which is currently making the circuits of the Baltic States and South East Asia after its NYC debut. (That’s actually true. #WorldFamousInVilnius #WorldFamousInHoChiMinhCity)
I know that even by listing something here, I’m going to leave someone or something out, but we can always circle back on more interesting adventures of New York’s monarchs!Join us on March 11