The last time Miss Richfield 1981 played Fort Lauderdale, almost a year ago, the drag-queen superstar’s show was all about a grassroots movement to sweep her into the White House.
Now, with the new show — “2020 Vision,” which will once again play Sunshine Cathedral on Feb. 25 — Miss Richfield 1981 has kept her well-manicured talons on the pulse of the nation.
“These are some strange times, so I want to offer people a message of hope, or at least survival,” Richfield 1981 says in an email interview. “My show has new music, new videos, new chatter, and most importantly, a new message for our new world we live in. And I adore doing my show at the Sunshine Cathedral, where you don’t have to be a Christian to attend the show. That’s probably good news for at least half your readers.”
Miss Richfield 1981 is the creation of Russ King, an actor, singer and musician. The theatrical character is a big star on the gay cabaret circuit in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Key West, Provincetown, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and Palm Springs.
Here is more from our recent interview with Richfield 1981.
Tell us again why everyone calls you Miss Richfield 1981?
That’s easy, I’m a beauty pageant title-holder from Minnesota. I won the title of Miss Richfield 1981 with the help of my subtle baritone vibrato, Jesus and that Pamprin with Codeine I get from Mexico!
What’s the best part about performing in South Florida?
I feel like a VIP, since I speak English, pay with cash and have a full set of teeth.
What’s the worst part about performing in South Florida?
Sand in my pantyhose and the residual chafe.
Your videos are a stitch. What have you planned for us this time?
Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free? You silly goose, I can’t tell you too much or it’ll spoil the surprise. But I will tell you that one film features a famous bus ride and one is set to that new hippidee-hop music the kids are dancing to.
When did you first know you had that special something that makes a star?
Back in seventh grade, when a vocational-aptitude test pointed me to a career in beauty or the fragrance counter at Sears. I still lie awake nights wondering if I made the right choice.
What do you think of men dressing as women for entertainment purposes?
Personally, I think it’s a cry for help.
What was the biggest surprise you ever received onstage?
A few years back, I was in Phoenix officiating at the American Morgan Horse Association’s Annual Horse Semen Auction and well, ya know — next question.
When traveling, do you have trouble fitting your bouffant coiffure into one seating area on airplanes? In general, what travel tips have you learned through working for Orbitz, Atlantis Cruises and the Travel Channel?
A lot of people ask me about travel advice. And I tell them to get to the gate area early, bring your own toilet paper and sit in front, so you can visit with the driver. And as far as hair goes, I generally wear mine for most of the trip. Of course, when I need to take a quick nap, I carefully place my hair in my bowling-ball bag. Then, I just hold the bowling ball in my lap.
By the way, how do you get your hair so high?
I follow instructions of firefighters across the world: Stop, drop and roll.
Any makeup tips?
No, I don’t wear makeup.
What is the inspiration behind your couture?
Vonda Kay Van Dyke, Miss America 1965. The only contestant to win both titles of Miss America and Miss Congeniality in the same year. Vonda has it all. She is a mother, a beauty queen and a ventriloquist! And she did it all with one lung! As far as my own style goes, I strictly ensure that all my gowns are machine washable, fire-resistant and made in the Philippines, where the children really know quality stitching.
What is the one thing you’d rather die than leave the house without?
A smile. My mother always told me that you can lose your money, you can lose your lipstick, you can lose your dignity, but if you have a smile, you’ll always be able to find a trucker to give you a ride home.
Are you too busy for love? Is there a Mr. Richfield 1981?
You can imagine with my beauty title, my wildly successful career and my mile-long bus pass on the Greyhound, I’ve certainly had my share of suitors. Unfortunately, most of them have been women. It was a little weird at first, but also fun — you know the Harley rides down the beach, woodworking classes, canned beer — I don’t want to be critical, but I’m really hoping something works out with a man at some point.
On your Facebook page, you seem to have a lot of love for President Obama and Mrs. Obama. What do you think of the new president and first lady?
To be quite honest, I’ve never been fond of orange. I find it difficult to coordinate and not at all flattering.
I couldn’t help but notice that there always seems to be a lot of gays and lesbians in your audiences. Why do you think that is?
Yes, it’s been a nice change. You know, for years it was just veterans and Lutherans. Now, I look out and see gals in slacks and practical shoes, along with a host of finely coiffed men who’ve made a lot of poor personal choices. They pay well and they love me! And I love them! But I find it most interesting that you would notice such a thing. Hmmm, that might be the better question! Wink, wink.
Miss Richfield 1981’s “2020 Vision” will appear 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW Ninth Ave., in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $30 for general admission. Go to OutlandishFL.com.