Drag queen Shelley Novack is South Beach, and now she is gone -- but not without singing an encore performance of "Still Crazy After All These Years" at her going-away bash last night at Burger & Beer Joint (video here).
Shelley, the hairy-chested drag gal built by bulldog-shaped Bostonian Tommy Strangie, presided over some of the most outrageous years in Miami history from her perch at the door at Liquid. Back in those days, South Beach was fueled by a cast of both originals, and celebrities like Madonna ran wild because they wanted to, not because anyone paid them to appear in a VIP booth for 30 minutes.
That very same Madonna once made a very rude gesture at Shelley, but that was all part of Strangie's two incredible decades in very sensible heels. Now, after helping keep Miami drag alive well after nightlife's desire for it died, Strangie and Shelley's signature blond wigs and pink lipstick are off to Hollywood, where he'll crash on the couch of childhood friend Ellen Pompeo and hit the town as a writer.
It truly is the end of an era.
Strangie's superfriends of drag were all present, of course, with Real Housewife of Miami Elaine Lancaster holding down MC duties and a Cher (natch) serenading. But it was Shelley who brought the house down with a song, circled the room with her quick-witted kisses, and then, before heading to the night's afterparty at Twist, threw her arms in the air and screamed, for old time's sake, "LET'S ALL GO DO SOME COCAINE!"