The most choreographed and leggy of the bunch, Tina was the clear crowd-pleaser — but as diehard Trannyshack fans know, the winner never wins. With Tina doomed, Sweetie, whose low-battery light was by that time blinking, pitted Flawless Sabrina against Bianca in a scavenger-hunt tiebreaker. Among the 16 items: an out-of-state driver's license, lip balm, a cock ring, a straight female, a condom, breath strips, one white athletic sock, a six-foot-tall man and poppers. Before the girls could hit the floor, a drunken crowd rushed the items to the stage. And the winner was ... Miss Bianca Leigh!
San Francisco phenoms rarely translate well in New York (long live the Cockettes!), and Splash isn't serving Trannyshack à la Heklina. But Sweetie's show is tasty too — even if it is lite. *
Paul Freibott writes about New York and San Francisco and will travel anywhere for a good drag show.
When to go Trannyshack NYC celebrates its first birthday March 5. Avoid the cover by signing up on the Web site before 6 p.m. that night. Go early for the beer blast ($8 for 10 Buds) and go-go boys showering onstage; end the night drunk, horny, and wondering when the dancing beef slabs in G-strings morphed into singing drag queens.
Where to stay The Chelsea Lodge and Chelsea Lodge Suites (1-800-373-1116, www.chelsealodge.com) offer historic panache in a renovated brick townhouse; $99 a night and up. The gay-friendly Colonial House Inn (1-800-689-3779, www.colonialhouseinn.com) has a clothing-optional roof deck (seasonal); $104 a night and up. Rooms at the Chelsea Inn (1-800-640-6469, www.chelseainn.com) are mere slivers without private baths, but it's right next door to Splash.
SPLASH BAR NEW YORK
50 West 17th St., New York