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Miss Richfield 1981 :: Smiling through the End Times

by BeBe Sweetbriar
Tuesday Oct 23, 2012
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"As long as it’s growing as a career, as long as I can continue growing, I’ll keep going," was once the statement made by Russ King of his nationally treasured creation Miss Richfield 1981. You notice that King used "as long" and not "if," because at this juncture of his career, it appears as if Miss Richfield shows no signs of slowing down.

No longer just an North American treasure performing before packed houses across the country including very successful annual runs in Provincetown, Miss Richfield 1981 has been a drag ambassador of sorts to the many Mexican ports, courtesy of Atlantis Cruise Lines, among other offshore locations.

Always one to show us her Midwestern charm in an oh-so campy way, Miss Richfield 1981 is never too shy to simply speak about the things we think about (but rarely express) through speech, or giving the candid advice we so much don’t want to admit we need. She’s sassy, but always with a smile! With her current show "2012: We’ll All Be Dead by Christmas" comes to San Francisco on October 27, 2012 as a fundraiser for the very liberal parish of the St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church to support their many ministries including LGBT-related causes, Miss Richfield 1981 reminds us of the prophecy of our supposed doomsday before the end of the year, but yet again, she does it with a smile.


Adores the Third World

BeBe: You seem to take the responsibilities of your oh so coveted title very seriously by taking your charm and wit all over the country. On average, how many states are blessed with your presence in any given year? And do you have a favorite place to visit?

Miss Richfield: Goodness, I’ve been so blessed to see bus depots in at least 13 different states this year! And I am always on the road, particularly since the Chinese branched out of laundry and into bus service. Now I can get across the country for five bucks! So in the past few months I’ve taken the bus to Philly, Denver, New York, Boston, Indianapolis, Santa Fe, and Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, and all summer in Provincetown, Massachusetts. And if we can make it through December, I’ll get to perform overseas this spring and take the bus to Sydney, Australia, and Hong Kong!

Fortunately, I simply adore the Third World. But truly I adore San Fran the most! The people are so real. It’s not a sprawling place like LA, nor a rushed place like NYC, nor a divided place like DC. San Francisco is wonderful, as long as I remember to pull down the chinstrap on my hair!


A beauty professional

BeBe: As Miss Richfield 1981, what is your number one priority?

Miss Richfield: Beauty and outward appearances. As Miss Richfield 1981, a beauty professional and pageant title holder, I know the buzz about girls getting their high school diplomas and all, but it’s a fact that only 50 percent of the pretty girls like me can actually read and write, and virtually none of us do math. So we have to hang it all on a lovely appearance, big hair and reasonable hygiene. Let’s face it, beauty is skin deep and everybody knows that your skin is not connected to your brain!

BeBe: If you were representing a third political party as its nominee for President in 2012, what would you challenge the current President with in a debate?

Miss Richfield: I’d want to know why there has been absolutely no effort to make a national holiday of March 5th! This is the birthday of Virginia Christine, Mrs. Olson of Folgers Coffee fame. Although I am a strict Sanka drinker myself, because caffeine makes me run like a faucet, I remain a huge fan of any woman who’s not too proud to make her man a pot of coffee. And in 1971 Virginia received the ultimate tribute when her hometown of Stanton, Iowa transformed their city water tower into a giant coffee pot in her honor!


Good Lutheran bingo gal

BeBe: You are a lady of the seas with your regular excursions on the Atlantis Cruise Line’s gay cruises. If the ship were to, heaven forbid, fall to the demise like the Titanic, what would be the most treasured thing to you that you would save and why?

Miss Richfield: My jewelry! It’s just on approval, so I have to return it to the Dollar Magic store in Richfield after each engagement.

BeBe: What is a Lutheran raised person such as yourself doing visiting a rather progressive Episcopalian church like St. Aidan’s in San Francisco?

Miss Richfield: As a good Lutheran bingo gal, I believe that we should all work together, particularly when it concerns the affluent folks, like Episcopalians. A lot of Christians don’t have money, so I try to cash in wherever possible. And whenever I need a reminder of that, I just recall the words of Jesus, seriously, when He said: ’It’s important to be nice, but it’s nicer to be important.’

BeBe: You are helping St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in their fundraising efforts during your visit, and this isn’t the first time for you doing so. What is it about coming to San Francisco that appeals to you?

Miss Richfield: I find the homos in San Fran to be particularly happy and satisfied, not to mention exceptionally handsome. It could be the healthy regimen climbing hills and valleys that keeps a person regular. Or it could be my friendly accommodations at Durga Enterprise in Oakland, with its nighttime crowd and shared baths. Or it could be that relaxed West Coast nature that makes me smile and ask that everyone to move faster or get out of my way!


Her Midwestern sensibilities

BeBe: As such an international celebrity recognized all over the world, how do you keep yourself grounded and in touch with your Midwestern sensibilities?

Miss Richfield: I reach out and try to understand what makes people tick. That’s why most of my audiences are staying through the show this year. It’s important to be tolerant of others! For example, when you have Canadians in the house, you should always tell the jokes twice!

BeBe: You may be Richfield’s Queen, but your Provincetown’s Empress. To what do you attribute your overwhelming popularity in Provincetown?

Miss Richfield: Homos! Definitely a group of fellows and gals - using those terms loosely - these folks are lovers of entertainment and what could be finer than actually seeing the homos in their natural environment?!? It’s just like San Fran only with fudge and taffy.

BeBe: What would the public be shocked to find out if one of Miss Richfield 1981’s most deepest, dark secrets were leaked in the media?

Miss Richfield: That I was heavy in the late 1970s. That’s why my reign as Miss Richfield 1981 requires that I maintain a strict diet, as all of the other reigning beauty queens in Richfield have gotten heavy! So occasionally I do the ’Tic Tac & Sanka’ diet. After a week of only decaf and breath mints, you may not know your name, but you’ll never look better! And you’ll have fresh breath!

Miss Richfield 1981 performs in a one night only engagement in San Francisco to benefit the ministries of St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, October 27,2012 8pm. Purchase tickets on-line at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/244392.

Provided we make through Christmas, Miss Richfield 1981 continues 2012: "We’ll All Be Dead By Christmas" shows in the following areas:

11/30-12/16: Minneapolis, MN - Illusion Theater
12/26: Rehoboth Beach, DE - Blue Moon
12/29-12/30: Provincetown, MA - Crown & Anchor, Paramount!

For more performance dates and ticket information, follow Miss Richfield 1981 at her website.


Based out of San Francisco, BEBE SWEETBRIAR is the Omni Present Drag Chanteuse. As an entertainer and hostess, BeBe can be scene every week hosting and performing at countless events and parties in the San Francisco. One of the few drag personalities to sing live while performing, BeBe has literally graced every notable stage in San Francisco, bridging many gay sub-community gaps. She has also been the opening act for Destiny’s Child Kelly Rowland, "Ugly Betty’s" Alec Mapa and Dance Diva Kristine W. Adding recording artist to her list of performance accomplishments in 2008 with the release of her first single "Save Me", Ms. Sweetbriar will soon release her fifth dance single in 2012 called "Show It Off"..
As an actress, BeBe was introduced to film with a lead role in the independent film "Under One Sun" with her character dealing with religious, racial and gender issues. Additionally, she appeared in the campy musical "Devious, Inc" (Australian Film Festival, San Francisco Short Film Fest) also adding additional vocals to the musical soundtrack. Both of these performances led to her selection for a lead role in Aisha Media’s next short film series, "Con-tin.u.um" to be released in 2012.

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