Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Talking with the man behind Miss Richfield 1981
by Jon Putnam, Windy City Times
2012-04-04

This article shared 32319 times since Wed Apr 4, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Attendees will be tempted by a variety of irresistible packages April 14 at the Boystown nightspot Sidetrack, when the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus unveils its Fourth Annual Big Package Auction.

Some of the city's hottest male underwear models will strut their stuff while guests bid on luxurious prize packages that include: a six-night South African photo safari; a seven-day Caribbean or Mexican cruise on Holland America Cruiselines; and a two-night getaway to New York City, complete with Broadway tickets and TV tapings.

As a special treat, this year's auction will be hosted by none other than Miss Richfield 1981, a fixture on Atlantis Cruise Lines and spokesperson for Orbitz. WCT caught up with Miss Richfield 1981's alter ego, Russ King:

Windy City Times: Do you find that you're continually fine-tuning the character of Miss Richfield?

Russ King: Surprisingly, the essence of the character is consistent with its creation back in 1996 at a traditional drag act in a bar. Even there, Miss R was always clean with no foul language, which is what made the character appealing and different. As I began to do cabaret work in 1997 and onward, Miss R has continued to become more specific, but always true to her Midwestern, family roots.

WCT: I was surprised to read that you never had an interest in drag before creating the character.

Russ King: No. I was a journalist for six years out of college, then the communications director of the Minnesota AIDS Project for five years. I quit that job in 1998 to pursue a performance career—partially funded by freelance writing—until 2003, when I was able to make Miss Richfield a full-time occupation.

WCT: Do Russ King and Miss Richfield have much in common?

Russ King: Not on the surface. But I think any artistic creation is always a reflection of the artist on some level. So I think we're probably similar in a desire to entertain in a positive manner without straying into the distasteful and vulgar direction that much of comedy has gone.

WCT: Your hometown really is Richfield, Minn. Do you still have relatives and friends there? What kind of reaction have you gotten from them?

Russ King: No relatives live in Richfield today, but it's a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis, so most of us live close by. Overall the response of Miss R to the locals is positive. There's always those in life who take themselves way too seriously and just don't get the fact that the joke is really on Miss R, not Richfield!

WCT: An interesting thing about Miss Richfield's appeal is how her audience goes way beyond just gay men. Could this mean that as a country we're growing more accepting of differences?

Russ King: The gay audience has always been such a wonderful base for Miss R's work, but you're right; the straight world also enjoys the shows. Part of that is gay folk inviting their family and friends when I'm in their city! I appreciate that! But I also find women connect with the character in a really special way—seeing the character as a throwback to what their lives were or might have been about 25 years ago!

WCT: Is Miss Richfield rooting for any of the presidential candidates?

Russ King: Miss R hasn't backed a presidential candidate because I don't think she'd know who was running. Although I think she'd find a Mormon tempting, as multiple wives would increase her chances of finally landing a man.

WCT: Does Miss Richfield share your love of two-stepping? Will you have time to visit our local country-western bar, Charlie's?

Russ King: As a matter of fact, Miss R usually leads a country-western dance on every Atlantis Events cruise. It's such a great activity, and so social. You can't two-step and not smile. It's just the best. I have to fly in and out this time to Chicago, but I adore Charlie's and I shall return.

WCT: Will we be seeing Miss Richfield in any more TV commercials for Orbitz?

Russ King: I just taped another commercial yesterday in Atlanta. What a crazy and fun experience to be part of that. I usually use a cameraman and me to produce my videos, but with a full-commercial crew, there must have been at least 25 people on the shoot. We shot in a studio for four hours and then went on location to a really lovely hotel in Atlanta, a boarded-up building on the street and ended the day in a soup kitchen! It's exhausting, but amazingly fun! I think it'll air later this summer on Logo, and you can always find the ads online as well.

WCT: How about Russ King's future in comedy?

Russ King: I write a new show for Miss R every year and that keeps me busy! This year's show is "2012: We'll All Be Dead By Christmas." It's a celebratory look at the coming Armageddon. And I'm working on a YouTube presence scheduled for May. I'm wanting to do a two-minute "Ask Miss R" show that will be weekly. So start thinking of questions—and thanks a million for chatting. Chicago is one of my favorite places on earth.

The Big Package Auction will take place Saturday, April 14, 5-8 p.m., at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St. Ticket information and more details are available at www.cgmc.org, the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus' website.


This article shared 32319 times since Wed Apr 4, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Chicago History Museum holds special screening, panel discussion
2022-11-07
The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum presented a special screening of the Youtube Originals series Supreme Models: The Documentary and a panel with an array of A-list fashion industry panelists. Among the participants were ...


Gay News

Touche Chicago's 45th-anniversary celebration marred by racist performance
2022-11-03
Racist performance mires Touche Chicago's 45th anniversary celebration By Carrie Maxwell On Nov. 1, the leather, fetish and bear-focused Touche Chicago celebrated its 45th anniversary with a feature performance by ...


Gay News

Howard Brown Health's Big Orange Ball has 'Saturday Night Fever' theme
2022-10-27
Howard Brown Health's Big Orange Ball was back in-person at Park West on Oct. 22—this time with a big (not orange) disco ball. About 300 people brought their Halloween spirit to the event, dressed in costumes ...


Gay News

Chicago History Museum to host 'Supreme Models' screening Nov. 4
2022-10-19
The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum will host the official Midwest screening of Supreme Models and an exclusive in-person celebration on Friday, Nov. 4, 5:30-9:30 p.m. at The Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark ...


Gay News

'Martinis That Matter' to honor former TPAN CEO Jeff Berry on Oct. 30
2022-10-19
Marty's Martini Bar, 1511 W. Balmoral Ave., presents "Martinis That Matter," a community giving-back program that funds community groups, charities and organizations. Profits from the sales during these events go to the organizations hosting. On Sunda ...


Gay News

FashionBar hosting Chicago Fashion Week, PFLAG conference
2022-10-01
Fashion Bar announced that it's hosting Chicago Fashion Week. The shows will take place Oct. 16-23 at Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave. Additionally, FashionBar will host the. PFLAG Northern Illinois conference at Water Tower ...


Gay News

'Barlesque' launches at Sidetrack
2022-09-03
On Sept. 1 at Northalsted/Boystown nightspot Sidetrack, Barlesque kicked off. Nightlife figure Khloe Daniels hosted, introducing this year's bars, performers and choreographers. Barlesque brings Chicago nightlife superstars, local bars and ...


Gay News

TPAN bringing back 'Barlesque' starting Sept. 1
2022-08-25
Barlesque is back. On Thursday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. at Northalsted/Boystown nightspot Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St., Barlesque will kick off. Nightlife figure Khloe Daniels will host introduce this year's bars, performers and choreographers. Attendanc ...


Gay News

Touche holds fundraiser for Windy City Times
2022-07-12
Leather bar Touche, 6412 N. Clark St., held its regular Friday fundraiser on July 8—and the fortunate recipient this time was Windy City Times. Approximately $200 were raised during this benefit raffle. Touche has been a ...


Gay News

amfAR gala is highlight of Cannes Film Festival, raises $19M
2022-05-28
The amfAR gala, the highlight of the famed Cannes Film Festival, returned as a glamorous in-person event May 26 at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, according to a press release. amfAR, The Foundation for ...


Gay News

Chicago Fashion Week taking place April 24-May 1
2022-04-19
FashionBar, LLC announced Chicago Fashion Week will take place April 24-May 1 on the third floor of Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave. Some of the shows will include "Emerging Students" (April 26), "Trans, Media ...


Gay News

Designs for Dignity gala on May 19
2022-04-19
Designs for Dignity's annual fundraising gala, "Spirit of Design," will take place Thursday, May 19, 6-10 p.m., and will celebrate more than 20 years of impact on Chicago's nonprofit community. The event will take place at ...


Gay News

Chicago Fashion Week April 24 to May 1
2022-04-05
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — FashionBar, LLC is pleased to announce Chicago Fashion Week powered by FashionBar LLC, scheduled from April 24th to May 1st at Water Tower Place on Chicago's Magnificent Mile. FashionBar is proud to celebrate this ...


Gay News

LGBTQIA+-focused talent group launches in Orlando, Chicago and Miami
2022-03-31
Orlando-based experiential marketing company, 82 South, Inc., has launched MODE (Made on Diversity and Equality) Talent Group this month to promote LGBTQIA+ and other underrepresented talent for bookings in fashion ...


Gay News

Pride Journey: Iceland
2022-03-21
The only way to describe Iceland is ... magical. It truly is. Iceland is like no other place I've visited in the world. It's topography, climate, people, culture, history, and nightlife blended together make Iceland a ...


 




Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.