Scrumbly Koldewyn (Ensemble/Musical Director/Piano) started performing, composing, directing for the Cockettes at the inception and has been managing to survive by performing, composing, writing & musical directing in musical theater and cabaret. After the Cockettes, some of his most active groups/projects have been: Rickettes, Tale Spinners (4 productions), Theater Workers (4 productions), The Distractions, The Jesters (3 European Tours), Dirty Little Show Tunes, NCTC [8 productions], Stagebridge, and the Thrillpeddlers’ Cockette’s Revivals & sequels [8 productions] and segments of Shocktoberfests .
History: The Cockette’s sprawling, kaleidoscopic pantheon of colorful personalities included icons including: Hibiscus and Sylvester, and was often augmented by special guests, most notably drag superstars Divine & Mink Stole. The Cockettes were ahead of their time, especially in the acceptance of gender fluidity and glittered beards, and they changed the face of drag forever.
Although the Cockettes disbanded in 1972, its many members kept the group’s spirit alive; in 2009, a theater troupe called the Thrillpeddlers helmed by Russell Blackwood revived a legendary Cockettes show called Pearls Over Shanghai to much acclaim and a long 22 month run. Playing on the interest already garnered by David Weissman & Bill Weber’s The Cockettes documentary released in 2002, interest in this troupe was reawakened and entertained an entirely new & appreciative audience. Over the next decade, The Thrillpeddlers continued recreating Cockette shows under the watchful eye of the original songwriter and Cockette Scrumbly Koldewyn.