Drag Queens of Comedy: May 28th, 2016. Produced by Sasha Soprano. Starring: Varla Jean Merman, Bob The Drag Queen, Heklina, Peaches Christ, Coco Peru, Alyssa Edwards, Trixxie Mattel, Lady Bunny, Bianca Del Rio. Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA.
Drag is, and has been, alive in San Francisco probably since the first the first male put on a dress way back in the bawdy Barbary Coast days of the 1840’s. With RuPaul’s highly rated LOGO show Drag Race now in its 9th season, producer Sasha Soprano has her own comedy franchise with this DQoC series, billed as “the world’s largest and most successful drag comedy festival”.
Large it is, selling out two shows at San Francisco’s 1400 seat Castro Theatre, and presenting a large collection of the most popular of drag performers on the circuit. Large in time as well, with the production lasting a whopping two hours and 40 minutes.
Bianca De Rio, winner of RuPaul’s DR season VI, is a firebrand insult comedian in the Joan Rivers/Don Rickles vein opening the show with an X rate version of Adele’s “Hello”. Sasha Soprano did her bit, smart comedy with an edge. Coco Peru is the queen of the monologue, able to cleverly spin a series of related vignettes centering around her righteous anger against ignorance and bigotry into comic monologue gold.
Local drag impresarios Peaches Christ and Heklina “read” each other (insults based on finding a flaw and exaggerating it) before bringing two hetero men onstage to attempt a very difficult drag task, giving a blow job on a banana without leaving a lipstick ring. Funny gag. Varla Jean Merman, is the absurdist of the bunch, whose ridiculous concepts are delivered with quick wit and total genuine confidence. Providing relief for using your Smart phone while wearing gloves by using an uncooked hotdog (“the phone is smart, it doesn’t know its dead!”) is a brilliant bit. Bob the Drag Queen, a fierce glamazon and winner of RuPaul’s DR season 8, closed the show on a very high note, venturing into the audience to display her amazing quick wit and dry delivery. Asking two black women their names (one was Carol, the other Luneesha) turned into a hilarious routine. Luneesha is the appropriate black name, sounding like a prescription drug, as it should. Carol’s parents want her to get a college degree and succeed. It was stereotypical humor at its best.
The evening covered the gamet of drag personality styles from very old school (Lady Bunny), to Peru’s urbane wit, to the bitchy put down’s of Del Rio. As the crowds ate this up in large quantity, I expect many more Drag Queen of Comedy in our future.