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Photographer (and part-time House of Egypt member) Benjamin Alexander Huseby created a levitating pyramid-shaped photographic sculpture in homage to the beloved troupe. How they were anticipated! I chronicled their widely trashed opening in all its wacky splendor in a front-page story for the Village Voice, headlined “History of a Hype: Worm in Big Apple.” They got a lot better after the opening-night disaster, but it was too late. In its history numerous performers and performing groups have spun off from the Cockettes, including, among others, the Seattle Ze Whiz Kidz (including actors Tomato Du Plenty and Screaming Orchids; the first Whiz Kidz show was a musical based on the life of Yma Súmac), The San Francisco Angels of Light, The New York Angels of Light and The Assorted Nuts. When Helfand and Gold first pitched the film, they actually called it a “toxic comedy” because the inclusion of humor in the piece was so important to them. On May 6, 1982 Hibiscus died of AIDS in New York City (supposedly the 224th person to die in that epidemic).  Hibiscus was explicitly political and committed to free performances as a part of the hippie ethos.  Once in New York they were housed in a dingy hotel where heroin was easily scored but spent most of their time as celebrated guests at dozens of parties where they could eat and drink for free, running a tab at a local diner and getting free taxicab rides. , The Cockettes inspired a Brazilian drag troupe "Dzi Croquettes," which are the subject of a 2009 documentary film Dzi Croquettes. His Joie de Vie shown through his entire career. For example, in the film they interview an Italian doctor who tried to take charge of the question and answer session—in essence, attempting to direct the directors. Sylvester was a generous soul, a truly divine person to be with and we were lucky to be able to allow him to channel his inner Billie Holiday on our stage. Apparently the New York professionals did not view the group as talented. Play trailer . This digital conversation is closed-captioned and ASL interpreted. There are a lot of great comedies about other things than just the humor. The first year they parodied American musicals and sang show tunes (or original musical comedies in the same vein). At the Pagoda Palace Theatre in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood, impresario Sebastian (real name Milton Miron) let the Cockettes perform as part of his Nocturnal Dream Show, a showcase of underground films, in exchange for free admission. Many other people too numerous to mention performed in only one or two shows. Hibiscus's sisters Jayne Anne, Eloise and Mary Lou were The Screaming Violets. Show titles included Gone With the Showboat to Oklahoma, Tinsel Tarts In A Hot Coma, Journey to the Center of Uranus, Smacky & Our Gang, Hollywood Babylon and Pearls Over Shanghai. 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