James Hosking’s illuminating documentary follows three veteran drag entertainers at Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, one of the very last gay bars left in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. His camera silently follows Olivia Hart, Collette LeGrande, and Donna Personna as they prepare for another night shift performing at the dive bar that has become quite a haunt for tourists gay and straight alike (you can spot the ubiquitous bachelorette parties in the crowd).
The three old performers come alive on the small cramped stage lip-synching their hearts out to old gay classic tracks as they collect the dollar tips from an enthusiastic audience. When its all over for yet another night, the camera trails them back to their small apartments as the step out of their gowns and wipe off the make-up yet once again.
This very affectionate portrait so eloquently captures a slice of life that will probably soon disappear completely, but long may it flourish as long as these old-timers still have the energy and the chutzpah to perform.