The poor Kinsey Sicks. The popular San Francisco-based barber shop quartet had been promising a New York run for several years, even naming one of their West Coast shows, New York or Bust. Unfortunately, they picked fall 2001 for their debut, when Off-Broadway shows, especially, felt the financial aftershocks of September 11.
According to the show's press representatives at Tony Origlio, Dragapella! Starring the Kinsey Sicks will close Dec. 16 "unless there is a major improvement at the box office." Dragapella! will have played 52 performances with seven previews.
Because of the events of Sept. 11, the Kinsey Sicks delayed their Off Broadway debut by a few weeks, opening Oct. 24. Dragapella Starring the Kinsey Sicks inaugurates Upstairs at 54, a new performance space at Studio 54, the home of Cabaret.
Performing together for five years, the Sicks' previous productions have included Sicks Appeal, The Balled Sopranos: At Home with the Kinsey Sicks, GreatesTits and Motel-Sicks. The group's twin CDs, "Dragapella" (1997) and "Boyz 2 Girlz" (1999), feature the new a cappella classics "Don't Be Happy? Worry," "Beaver," "AZT," "Titanic: Why Does Celine Go On?," "I Will Swallow Him," "Baby Dyke," and the Yiddish classic, "Papirossen," among others.
Kinsey Sicks (named for the Kinsey Report on sexual behavior, which defines a six (or, in this case, sicks) as a person who is completely homosexual) are Ben Schatz, Irwin Keller, Maurice Kelly and Chris Dilley. Their alter-egos are, respectively, Rachel, Winnie, Trixie and Trampolina. Schaltz wrote the song parodies and originals, while Keller and Dilley arranged the music. Tickets are $50-$55. Upstairs at 54 is located at 254 West 54th Street. For reservations, call (212) 239-6200. The Kinsey Sicks are on the web at http://www.dragapella.com.
— By Christine Ehren