“When my parents came to see the show, they couldn’t recognise me on stage,” says curvaceous Lada, a star dancer at the celebrated Tiffany’s Show in Pattaya. It’s not surprising that they didn’t recognise her. When she left home a few years before, Lada had been a male.
Now transformed in every sense, she is sporting a billowing gown and towering, blond pompadour and cuts a formidable figure ahead of a chorus line of similarly flamboyant dancers.
Tiffany’s Show, the world’s largest transvestite cabaret originated as a one-man performance on New Year’s Eve 1974. Today, Tiffany’s 1,000-seat theatre rings out five times a day to a musical soundtrack that ranges from Thailand to Broadway, Bollywood to Seoul, via Tina Turner. A cast of 90 katheoy (transvestite/transgender) and 20 male dancers perform an extravaganza of high-stepping, drop-dead gorgeous, lip-synched routines.