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Flashback Cabaret, April 14 2022.

Moments in Provincetown’s Entertainment History


by Steve Desroches

As a drag queen magician Cashetta said it always came naturally to her as she’d “been turning tricks since she was a little girl.” Talented, sweet, and literally magical, Cashetta, portrayed by Scott Weston, quickly found a niche for herself in the crowded and competitive drag world of New York City in the 1990s. A significant figure in the “drag explosion” of that decade in New York, Cashetta knew it wasn’t enough to be able to sing and dance and have comedic chops and a commanding stage presence. She needed an edge. So she taught herself magic via mail-order catalogs, instantly diving into each new kit and deck of cards that arrived in her mailbox.

Whether it was making a crystal ball seemingly float in the air, pulling a queen of hearts from an unsuspecting audience member’s pocket, or appearing to completely swallow a long balloon, Cashetta’s magic and performance style garnered her the respect of not only the drag world, but mainstream magicians, too. She dazzled with her flash and sparkle, and entertained everyone from her tricks for the children to the double entendres for adults that flew right over the little ones’ heads. A native of New Jersey, she crossed the Hudson in the late 1980s and by the 1990s was a staple of New York City’s drag scene, performing regularly at the drag club Lips, a beloved feature at the annual Wigstock festival, as well as a frequent guest star at Bard’O, performing with Joey Arias, Raven O, Sade Pendarvis, and Sherry Vine.

Born and raised so close to New York, Cashetta wanted to see where her drag could take her beyond Manhattan. Come the 2000s Cashetta had become a fixture in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and then here in Provincetown, where she was an instant hit, performing at Steve’s Alibi and then Art House. It was from her work in  Provincetown that Cashetta landed a gig in Las Vegas, the world capital for magicians, fulfilling one of her life’s goals. And she slayed there, too, selling out shows. Once realized she came back East, continuing to perform in Provincetown and eventually settling in Rehoboth Beach.

Never one to rest on her laurels, Cashetta began to study the old tricks and gimmicks of the Spiritualism movement of the 19th century as well as those of more modern-day mediums, clairvoyants, mind-readers, and those who claim they talk to the dead. Dedicated to the proposition that magicians are “honest liars” in that they admit everything they are doing is a trick or an illusion, she carried that credo over to this new form of entertainment. After working for several years on her new craft she unveiled Séance, a new kind of magic show, just in time for Halloween weekend in Provincetown in 2011.

Upon her entrance on stage she thoroughly explained that everything she was going to do that night was a trick, that she couldn’t actually communicate with the dead, read minds, and so on. But without fail, after every show at least one person told her they thought she actually had otherworldly gifts and asked if she could contact a long gone loved one. She gently corrected them every time, but it’s testament to how good the show was. Indeed she was so proud of once again finding a way to distinguish herself in a crowded drag world. Sadly, Cashetta died in her sleep of a heart attack at the age of 44 in 2015 while completing a run of shows in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. As nice as it would be to hear from her on the other side, Cashetta left so much love while she was here on Earth that her presence will be felt for years and years to come.

“At the after-party after the Royal Albert Hall show, we were in Elton John’s piano room, you know, as you do,” laughs Vosk. “And Benny sat down at the piano and began to play. I said to myself, ‘You know Vosk, now’s the time to just go for it.’ I went over and sang ‘The Winner Takes It All.’ All of that was one of the best experiences of my life.”

With New York City’s theaters coming back to life, Vosk can feel the corresponding excitement of all those who work on and off the stages of Broadway. She’s taken in a few shows herself, and feels both relieved that this world she loves so much is all coming back and that it’s doing so with firm Covid safety protocols. The pandemic put so many dreams on hold. In the fall of 2019 Vosk appeared in Becoming Nancy at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. The new musical is based on a true story about a gay schoolboy in 1970s London who is cast as Nancy in his secondary school’s production of Oliver. Vosk says the experience was great and that there were hopes the show would eventually make its way to Broadway. And perhaps now it will, as the creative pipelines are unclogging. As for now, she’s basking in the glow of Carnegie Hall and looking forward to welcoming 2022 here in Provincetown.

“I’m obsessed with it,” says Vosk of Provincetown. “When I first went I was like, ‘okay, this is where I want to go when I die. This is my gay heaven.’ I loved it immediately. I couldn’t believe it took me so long to visit. I loved the neighborhood I was in. One day I was walking down the street and passed a group in drag as The Golden Girls and then minutes later I’m eating this great bruschetta at a cute little place by the water. It’s pretty amazing there. I’m so looking forward to spending New Year’s Eve there.”

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Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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