Review: ‘Drag Race’ was just wow

by MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

Wow, just wow.
I’ve been to a handful of drag shows.
Typically, though, they have been in smaller clubs with small stages and dim light.
Stage production was on dependent on the performers themselves. They made their own costumes. They had the look. They had the songs. And some worked props of their own construction into their act.
But I wasn’t prepared for the explosion of drag that I saw at RuPaul’s Drag Race –Werq the World Tour that stopped at the Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Oct. 25.
The entire show was a burst of color and energy that gave top performers like Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera a run for the money.
Yes, the performers all lip synced, that’s the nature of a drag shows, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any talent on display. Because, to a one, the cast of the Werq the World, were superstars on stage. They were immensely talented and oozed charisma.
My favorite moment of the evening was the dance explosion during Vanessa Vanjie’s set. If you hooked up Vanessa to some electrical wires, her energy during her set could have lit up the entire Foxwoods’ complex. The fact she could flip and turn in Olympian gold medal fashion, and never, lose her wig, was simply amazing. I think her set made the backup dancers break a sweat.
Yvie Oddly took drag to a level that I never would have expected. Her outfit took drag to outer space, dressing as an alien that escaped from Area 51. With her makeup and hair, and tentacles, she was a bit scary, a bit unnerving, but you couldn’t take your eyes off her. The imagination she exhibited in crafting her set was simply unbelievable.
Kameron Michaels’ aerial work on a trapeze, high above the stage, as snow (glitter) floated down was simply lovely. Cirque du Soleil, take note
And Asia O’Hara, what can I say? As the host for the evening, she was hilarious and was great at the banter as the stage was retooled for the next act. And her own set, with its amazing use of computer-generated graphics courtesy of a “Star Wars” lightsaber was incredible. I’m sure the technology is available to anyone who asks for it. But it was the first time I’ve seen it and it was fun and mesmerizing as she surprised me with the images she was able to generate.
From beginning to end, not a single performer cast for Werq the World was a drag… pardon the pun.
The show also was blessed with tremendous production values. The set was Broadway quality. The lighting outshined some of the arena pop concerts as I have seen.
The wigs and makeup were simply lovely. They drew from the drag tradition, but there was something special about how it was applied.
And the costumes… wow. OMG. The work on display would have given any designer at New York Fashion Week a run for the money.
By the time, the final bows were made. RuPaul’s Drag Race Werq the World tour left me invigorated. Like a great roller coaster ride at your favorite amusement park, I wanted to hop on the ride and do it all over again.
I give “RuPaul’s Drag Race Werq the World” tour five out of five stars. This was drag that was out of this world.