Kings & Queens – by Natalie Hope McDonald

Joey Josephs’ Amazing Technicolor Drag Show

Joey Josephs can transform into Liza Minnelli in 10 minutes. He learned it the hard way a few years ago at Gay Pride. “I got the wrong bus schedule,” says the host of Club Cabaret, a new biweekly drag series at Sisters. “So I did the face in five minutes, took off my boy clothes and put on a wig.” Voila.

These days, the South Philly native channels a cavalcade of divas, including Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Connie Francis?the last of whom he’s corresponded with for years thanks to her generous Italian rendition of “The Impossible Dream.”

As the recently crowned Miss Venture Inn, Josephs has applied many an eyelash over an 18-year career as a female impersonator before launching Club Cabaret last month. He’s long conjured up the ghosts of gay boys past at hometown hot spots like the Lark Bar in Bridgeport, The Raven in New Hope and Philly’s now-defunct Applause Applause, as well as New York City supper clubs.

It wasn’t always marabou, however. “They told me I would not look pretty,” remembers the 45-year-old Pine Hill, N.J., resident, who first started performing in his 20s at long-gone nightclub Odyssey II. “They told me, ‘You will look like Sylvester Stallone.'”