It's the 11th year of Midnight Mass! We here in San Francisco are so lucky to have Peaches Christ's maniacal midnight film screening series. It is definitely one of the best things about living in this city. The screenings are truly out of this world, with fabulous preshows and special guests. For a full schedule of this year's Midnight Mass, click here. The opening night screening of Showgirls including special guests is appropriately on that most American of holidays, July 4th!
Peaches and I recently had a chat about the upcoming season of Midnight Mass, her favorite cult films and of course, her favorite Disney ride!
Miss Ess: This year's Midnight Mass includes perennial fave Showgirls! Tell us about the cast members that will be joining you at the screening.
Miss Peaches Christ: Showgirls is the only film we've programmed in all eleven seasons of Midnight Mass and it's kinda considered our "signature show." I'm thrilled that this year we're finally adding actual cast members from the film to our bill. We've been promised behind-the-scenes tales about the making of this modern day cult classic! Patrick Bristow, who plays Marty the dance instructor, is coming, along with Rena Riffel, famous for receiving the infamous line hurled at her character "Nobody wants to fuck a Penny! They wanna fuck a ‘Hope,’” so she's actually listed as having played Penny/Hope. I love it! Both of the actors are really enthusiastic about sharing stories with us so I'm beyond excited.
ME: Will you be performing any songs this year, like last year's enduring "After Midnight?"
PC: Yes, in fact I will! In honor of our Starrbooty screening I'll be debuting a brand new Peaches single and it's genuine bona-fide hip-hop. Thank Christ for producer Ric Ray or I'd be completely lost. Rapping is hard! It's like hard to breathe and get all those words out. I'll be premiering the song at Starrbooty and then we'll be releasing a single with a b-side and remixes in October. The song is called "Peaches Christ Is Gangsta" and was actually inspired by a Peaches story told by Ana Matronic (of Scissor Sisters). She told us about being approached by some Brooklyn thugs when she was wearing her "Peaches Christ Is My Homegirl" hoodie. One of the guys looked at her sweatshirt and said "that's gangsta!"
ME: And the screening of Starrbooty is the same night RuPaul Charles appears. Will you be interviewing him onstage?
PC: Yes, I will! I'm a little bit nervous about performing "Peaches Christ Is Gangsta" for the first time in front of RuPaul Charles, but thrilled as well. I'll be interviewing RuPaul in the sort of midnight version of our Inside the Actor's Studio stage-show we've become known for. I'm SUPER excited to get to sit down and talk with RuPaul about having this incredible, legendary career. Also, it will be really fun to see Starrbooty play at Midnight Mass! It's a blaxploitation send-up that' s outrageous, hilarious, and retarded. I love it! We'll also be presenting our 2nd Annual SF Hooker Pride Parade that night, so it's a BIG show.
I miss RuPaul’s show on VH1! James Lipton is kind of a queen already, but your Inside the Actor’s Studio interviews ratchet it up another notch altogether. You plus RuPaul will be one fabulous night! Ok, so in honor of your screening of Purple Rain, what is your favorite Prince song?
Definitely "When Doves Cry." It's just total drama.
Actually, that is my favorite too, without question! It doesn’t sound like any other song ever and it totally rules in every way. You are screening Pee Wee's Big Adventure and I remember that you met Pee Wee Herman last year at an Amoeba signing. Any highlights from that day? Was it everything you hoped it'd be?
It was such a thrill meeting Paul Reubens at Amoeba last year and even though we weren't able to work it out for this summer, I'm still talking with him about doing a Midnight Mass show someday. For our show this summer we're re-mounting our "Peaches' Playhouse" pre-show, which is a real crowd favorite, featuring an all-star cast of drag superstars.
Speaking of, your preshow entertainment is always flawless. How do you generate all your ideas?
I usually come up with stuff when I'm doing something. I don't sit still very well so my better ideas usually pop into my head at the strangest moments. There's not really a patented process I guess. Lots of times it's collaborative and I'll come up with some kernel of an idea and then our co-stars and crew will help nurture it and contribute. The most important part though is that we can never take ourselves too seriously.
It shows during your performances! Do you have a favorite Midnight Mass moment ever?
I have too many to pick one favorite. So much has happened in the past eleven years. But if you put a gun to my head and demanded I choose just one, I'd say that last year's opening weekend show where we were performing all this crazy stuff while John Waters, Tura Satana, and Mink Stole were sitting in the audience watching us-- well, it was simply amazing. And that word 'amazing' is totally over-used these days, but in this instance I'm using it in the traditional sense. It. Was. AMAZING!
I was there and it was totally out of control! What preshow is your personal fave to take part in?
Hmmm, I honestly don't know. It changes all the time. Maybe I'd say Showgirls this week and Pee Wee next week. It probably depends on what I'm focused on when you ask.
I had the pleasure of watching you erupt from a volcano last year at the Showgirls screening and it was quite the experience! Also last year, we had a special appearance at Trannie Dearest by Mrs. Christ, your mother. Will she be making a return to force?
Unfortunately she's not able to make it to SF this summer. Her fans are disappointed.
Count me as one of them! You were feted at the DeYoung Museum last year for your fashion and cultural contributions-- what has been your most cherished outfit for Midnight Mass?
Well, this year the Reader's Poll of the SF Weekly voted me "Most Fashionable" and when I found out I called my long-time costume designer and personal couturier Tria Connell and announced "You won an award!!!" She's incredible and has made so many incredible outfits for me over the years, but I think maybe my favorite is the dress she made utilizing 35mm Film for last year's opening weekend.
Tria outdoes herself constantly, it’s true. You are a busy bee, year round. What do you have coming up aside from Midnight Mass?
Well, I'm finally moving forward with my first feature film and it's really taking up loads of time. We hope to be shooting it in early 2009 and it's a massive project. Besides that, I'm also going to be appearing with Elvira at Comic Con in San Diego on Friday, July 25th. Yes, the night before the Starrbooty show with RuPaul in San Francisco. What am I thinking!?! The Elvira show features a 20th Anniversary screening of her fantastic movie Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and we're actually talking about taking the show on the road later this year. I'm giddy with excitement about the idea of a Peaches/Elvira tour!
That’s fantastic! Speaking of Miss Elvira, what is your favorite horror film?
A Nightmare On Elm Street. [Ed. note: which will be screened August 15th at Midnight Mass!]
What movie are you dying to star in a remake of?
In general, I'm not a fan of remakes. I don't know that I'd want to do one of these new, polished versions of an older film I love.
Name a cult film that you think more people should check out. (I'm still not over the one you showed me, Sleepaway Camp!)
Well, Sleepaway Camp is pretty fantastic and I still want to do it at Midnight Mass someday. I'd also recommend that folks check out Spider Baby, The Honeymoon Killers, Astro Zombies, Night Of The Comet, Vixen, and I could probably go on for days so I'll just stop there.
What other film would you love to get for Midnight Mass that you haven't yet?
It seems like Winona must have more availability in her schedule these days-- she should come for that one! If you could have the career of one entertainer, whose would it be?
Barbara Streisand... not! Seriously, I don't know how to answer that question.
What is your favorite John Waters movie?
Since you and John are pals now, care to tell us about your visit to his home in your home state of Maryland?
It was amazing in the traditional sense of the word. And surreal; I was sitting there looking around wide-eyed, eating lunch and thinking, "is this really happening?"
Since we are Amoeba here, name an album that changed your life.
Black Celebration by Depeche Mode. It still holds up for me. LOVE IT.
And, finally, since I know you secretly are a Disney World whore, what is your favorite Disney ride?
I'm coming out of the closet as being a Disney dork. It's true! I spent a week in Walt Disney World last year and it was so fantastic that my gentleman friend Dupuy and I are heading back for another week of the World this September. It's the happiest place on Earth! My favorite Disney attraction is still the Haunted Mansion. It's perfect.
Thank you so much for your time despite your hectic schedule, Peaches!