The acclaimed LBGTQ musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie finally gets its San Francisco run at the Victoria Theatre, with Katya Smirnoff-Skyy in a hilarious and crowd-pleasing Pride Month production.

When you see that Ray of Light Theatre’s just-opened production of Everybody's Talking About Jamie (playing through June 23 at the Victoria Theatre) has longtime SF drag icon Katya Smirnoff-Skyy in the cast, you simply assume that Katya is going to steal the show. After all, surely these lesser-known cast members will not be able to match the onstage magnitude of Ms. Smirnoff-Skyy, who’s been doing smash-hit residencies at Martuni’s and Feinstein's at the Nikko for decades. One assumes Katya will stand head, shoulders, and giant wig above the rest of this cast.

But that’s not what happens. Notably, actor Romelo Urbi is a surprising and highly charismatic powerhouse in the titular role of Jamie, a British teenager who aspires to be a drag queen. Urbi makes this production his own vehicle, and there will be no stealing of this show by any of the supporting cast, thank you very much.

Image:Jon Bauer, Ray of Light Theater

And the real sparkle of this show is not the cheeky drag humor, but the emotional family drama that plays out. Jamie’s mother Margaret (Anne Elizabeth Clark) and somewhat co-parenting friend Ray (Jill Slyter) deliver many of this production’s most compelling moments, including Clark’s second-act rendition of “He’s My Boy” that stands out as this show’s high-water mark.

Image:Jon Bauer, Ray of Light Theater

Yes, there is obviously drag humor in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and plenty of it. Katya, billed in the program by real name J. Conrad Frank, plays the sort-of dual role of drag apparel shop proprietor Hugo and the drag alter-ego Loco Channelle. (Bianca del Rio played the role in previous UK and Los Angeles productions). And there is more wigged-out zaniness from a trio of other drag queens that occasionally turn up: Sandra Bollock (Rahni NeverMore), Laika Virgin (Steven Ennis), and Tray Sophisticay (Samuel Prince).

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie had not yet had a San Francisco run, though it premiered in Sheffield, England (where the play takes place) back in 2017 and moved on to the West End. It’s based on the real-life 2011 BBC documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, and a film version from 2021 pretty much went straight to Amazon Prime, likely because 2021 was a terrible time for business at movie theaters.

Image:Jon Baue, Ray of Light Theater

But if Saturday’s Opening Night audience was any indication, this thing has developed a strong cult following. The crowd very much knew the numbers and lyrics, and their whooping and hollering gave this show an infectious Pride Month exuberance.

Image: Jon Bauer, Ray of Light Theater

It sure helps that Tom McRae’s incisive and brilliant lyrics to the musical numbers are a nonstop parade of clever and uproarious one-liners. Say what you want about the 116-year-old Victoria Theatre, and its hardly state-of-the-art aesthetic, every lyric in this musical can be heard crystal-clear. And for that, Ray of Light Theatre’s sound engineers Kira Sedayao and Gaby Gerson deserve to be commended.

Image: Jon Bauer, Ray of Light Theater

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie has an incredibly simple plot. A high school boy wants to wear a dress to prom, that’s pretty much the story here. There are classmate subplots, and family subplots, and “chosen family” subplots as Jamie finds his drag mother. But it’s a coming-of-age and coming-out story, exploring the bigotry and bullying that comes with that, and supporting cast members are forced to decide whether they’re going to be supportive in the face of community blowback.

Image: Jon Bauer, Ray of Light Theater

This is territory that has already been well-covered by Dear Evan Hansen, and Book of Mormon, two far more awarded and decorated plays. So Everybody’s Talking About Jamie does not feel particularly revolutionary. But this production at the Victoria Theatre is a delightfully fun and quite affordable Pride Month night out at the theater, and finally, a chance to see an awfully good musical that theater fans in New York, the West End, and London have certainly been talking about for awhile.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie plays through June 23 at the Victoria Theatre (2961 16th Street, at Mission Street) Tickets here

Related: 'Funny Girl' at the Orpheum Is Carried By the Star Power of Its Very Talented Lead [SFist]

Images: Ray of Light Theater