Walk like a man
Little City Kings
Cass Hayden looks a little like Fred Durst. And that’s how she wants it.
It’s her way of yelling a big “Fuck you!” to conformity and to gay stereotypes.
The 24-year-old self-described “tough one,” who goes by Carter onstage, is one fourth of the Little City Kings, a group of lesbian male impersonators who lip sync intricate, original musicals.
“It’s kind of like a lip sync with a twist,” says Mollyd (pronounced Molly-D) “Frankiebonerdeep” Demers. “It’s a comedy show. It’s a movement. It’s entertaining. It’s sexy.”
“It’s breaking way over to our gender,” Demers, 23, says. “I think we put out something pretty unique.” She explains that men often dress up as women and put on lip-syncing shows.
“It’s more exciting to see a man in a dress,” she says, somewhat sarcastically. “A guy in a dress with big boobs is easy to do.”
Rarely do women impersonate male musicians, she adds.
Chariell “Eljaye Afterdark” Smith, 24, a talented local rapper who goes by Knowledge, says that their shows are more than a group of lesbians wearing boy clothes and pretending to sing.
“We work two to two-and-a-half months on each show,” Smith says. “We never do the same show twice. … It’s a lot of work. It really is.”
The Little City Kings act out storylines in their shows, which last about an hour. The story lines are performed with no dialogue from the performers.
“It’s all carried by body movement and props,” says Demers. “And the songs,” adds Smith.
Also in the group is Veronica “Lukeintomyeyes” Williams, 24, who looks like Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy.
Judging from pictures of past shows, the whole act seems to be pretty exuberant. Fancy stage lighting. Multiple costume changes for each performer. Facial hair. Choreographed dance moves. Story lines. Demers, the self-described “funny one” out telling jokes on stage between costume changes.
“We’re not just standing up there pretending to sing a song,” says Williams.
In the two-and-a-half years they’ve been together, the Little City Kings say they’ve gained overwhelming support from the gay community.
But what these women really want is to expose more of Reno to gay culture in a fun atmosphere.
“It’s not just gay people at our shows,” says Smith. “We bring so many different kinds of people, and they dig it … Straight redneck boys come and are louder and more excited than everyone in the crowd.”
“By the end of the show, they’re on the stage dancing with us,” adds Hayden.
Their next show, taking place Feb. 21 at The Underground, is their first performance not at a gay venue. They’re pretty excited about it.
“We’re shooting for something uber-sexy this time,” says Demers. “Think ‘cougar.'”
It’s also an 18-and-up show, which the group says is important.
“For these younger kids to come and kind of look up … look at all these people … it’s an honor to know that we will be impacting these kids,” says Hayden.