There's a long, long showbiz tradition of drag queens, transvestites and female impersonators — from Barry Humphries' Dame Edna Everage to Harris Glenn Milstead's Divine, to Ru Paul (real name RuPaul Andre Charles), fully realized characters whose personas transcend their creators. They are entertainers who appeal to a broad, middle-class (and straight) audience.
Seattle's Grady West has created such a character in Dina Martina, a sloppy, sentimental yet endearingly sweet woman who wants nothing more than to sing a few holiday carols to her fans. Wearing garish makeup and thrift-shop costumes (lime green pantyhose that don't quite cover beige pantyhose, a braided epaulet glued to her hairy shoulder), she performs her Christmas Show nightly at Re-Bar through New Year's Eve, then returns for weekend performances in March. A welcome note: Re-Bar allows patrons to take their (moderately priced) drinks into the theater.
If you go: The Dina Martina Christmas Show, 8 p.m. nightly through Friday, Re-Bar (21+), 1114 Howell St., Seattle. Tickets cost $20 ($25 at the door) and are available at Brown Paper Tickets.