The Cockettes & Sylvester New York Debut at the Anderson Theatre Handbill
San Francisco: Tea Lautrec Litho, 1971. Design by Todd Trexler. Offset printed handbill. 5 x 6 in. Near fine condition. Item #5736
Small handbill advertising the New York debut of Cockettes performing with Sylvester and his
Hot Band at the Anderson Theatre for three weeks in November of 1971. When the troupe
arrived in New York, the hype surrounding their East Coast debut was enormous, with
publicity appearing in New York papers and underground and A-list celebrities alike eager to
catch the troupe’s live shows that had already become legendary West Coast. The Anderson
Theatre, a large and legitimate theater, was a far cry from the gay nightclubs and cabarets
they called home in San Francisco. Due to their anarchic, improvised, and ad-hoc rebuilt
stages and lack of rehearsal time, their debut show was a notorious flop, with most of the
audience leaving the theater before the performance ended. However, Sylvester performed separately as an opening act, and delivered the kind of performance New Yorkers were looking for. After the disastrous run of shows, Sylvester officially cut ties with the troupe and set out on his own.
A scarce handbill documenting the beginning of the troupe’s decline and the start of Sylvester’s successful solo career.