A Drag Queen Christmas: The Naughty Tour

My mom and I started watching Rupaul’s Drag Race during the tenth season. We immediately fell in love with the world of drag. Before the fourth season All Stars, there was a marathon of all of the previous seasons. We indulged further into the world of drag, falling in love with more and more queens and their talent. A year and a half later, we go to monthly drag brunches in our town, know all of the iconic jokes, and have roped my sister into watching as well. 

For those who don’t know, a drag queen is a man who dresses up as a woman. Usually there is a lot of bold makeup, an extravagant outfit, and a performance with lip syncing involved. Some drag queens do comedy, some lip sync, some sing live, and some dance. Some do it all. Rupaul’s Drag Race gathers eager drag queens into a competition where they participate in acting, singing, and fashion competitions in order to become drag’s next superstar.

If I’m being completely honest, I haven’t kept up with pop culture and general news since coming to college, so it wasn’t a huge shock when I found out I missed Sasha Velour coming to Boston. However, I was a little upset about that and when I called my mom to tell her about my obliviousness, we researched other drag performances and found A Drag Queen Christmas-The Naughty Tour. The week of Thanksgiving, my mom and I drove to Portland, Maine to see some of our favorite drag queens perform. Here’s what happened:

 

The Drag Queens

Our show was hosted by season five and all stars two alum Roxxxy Andrews. Nina West, of season 11, was scheduled to host, but had a prior engagement. This was a bit disappointing, but Roxxy did an amazing job filling in. The other performers were Shuga Cain, season 11, Manila Luzon, season three, all stars one, and all stars four, Thorgy Thor, season eight and all stars three, Lady Bunny, a drag icon, and Latrice Royale, season four, all stars one, and all stars four. 

 

The Performances

After Roxxxy opened the show, Shuga Cain lip sang to a Christmas version of Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold.” She was perfectly adorable and I especially loved her use of a blowup lollipop which she knowingly, awkwardly passed under her legs. Following Shuga was Manila Luzon. I was most excited to see Manila live because she is truly an amazing performer. She sang her Christmas song “Slay Bells” in tune and with great energy. Then, Thorgy Thor came on stage and surprised us with a violin rendition of “O Holy Night” which impressed my musician mother and I. It was truly impressive how well she played. We also enjoyed when she spoke into the microphone on her violin afterwards, rather than use the actual mic. After Thorgy, Lady Bunny graced the stage. Lady Bunny read, or “roasted”, RuPaul and the other queens before launching into a song which detailed how to earn a spot on drag race. She referenced many popular queens from all seasons of drag race in roasts throughout the song. If you know your drag race history, it was very funny. To end the first half of the show, Latrice Royale and the backup dancers performed a color guard routine with flags and rifles. Nothing was dropped or really offbeat between the three of them which was super impressive. 

After intermission was over, Roxxxy Andrews welcomed us back in a new, but just as dazzling, outfit. She did a classy performance in the blue feather fringe costume to Mariah Carey’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” Roxxxy then introduced Shuga back to the stage, who brought us to church with her glittery priest costume. She lip synced and danced down the aisle of the theater with a ton of energy. Following Shuga’s second performance, Roxxxy came back out in yet another outfit, even more glittery than the last. She introduced Thorgy Thor back to the stage and her second performance began with a video of her and another drag race alum, Scarlet Envy, lip syncing to the famous Saturday Night Live Sketch, “Schweddy Balls.” This was hilarious and unexpected, but absolutely fitting for a drag show. Thorgy graced the stage after the video and performed a lip sync to a ⅝ time “Jingle Bells.” My mom and I were super impressed with her ability to perform this difficult rendition with such amazing facial expressions. Following Thorgy was Lady Bunny, who entered to an extremely inappropriate song which she dubbed a “very traditional Christmas song.” She then invited two men to hold her book and listen as she roasted the queens again in “The Night Before Christmas” style. Again, if you know your references, this was a hilarious look into the RuPaul’s Drag Race queens. Our favorite act of the night, Manila Luzon, followed Lady Bunny. She entered with old lady makeup in her pajamas, drink in hand. Manila lip synced to “The 12 Daze of Christmas,” made famous by Fay Mckay in her Vegas show. Manila’s ability to keep up with all of the lyrics while acting increasingly drunk was hilarious and the highlight of my night. To close out the show, Latrice came back out for another color guard performance. It began with ballet and transitioned into a winter wonderland flag twirling eleganza. 

Overall, the performances were super enjoyable and the banter between the performances from the queens to the audience was hilarious. The only real disappointment was not seeing Nina West.

 

The Outfits

As always, we were expecting top notch outfits from our favorite queens, and that’s what we were served. Shuga Cain gave us the first transformation of the night, ripping her circle skirt and top off to reveal a glittery black leotard with a bow tie underneath. Both looks were gorgeous and showed off her curves. The second transformation of the night came from Manila Luzon. Manila entered the stage wearing a yellow-green leotard, cape, and hip pieces which showed off her long legs. In a twist move, she removed the hip pieces, leaving the leotard and the cape as the show-stoppers. Our third reveal was a bit more underwhelming and predictable. Latrice Royale entered the stage in a large green cloak. After a bit of time on stage, she exited the stage and came back in a red jumpsuit with stripes and checkerboard pieces. The reveal lacked in drama, since we knew it was going to happen and we didn’t see her take off the cloak. Roxxxy’s outfit following the intermission was absolutely fabulous. She wore a blue feather fringe headpiece, and a long sleeve gown of the same material. It could have swallowed her whole, but instead, she let it move by jumping, spinning and also just being. That dress practically moved on its own. My last honorable mention is Manila’s pajama set. The top and bottoms were bright, shiny, green and quilted, and there was a giant green bow on one shoulder. The outfit perfectly served the idea of the song: a husband gifting his trophy wife more and more alcohol through the holiday season.

 

Pray the Gay Away

The men behind “Pray the Gay Away,” a book and soon to be musical, were also a small part of the show. They were outside next to the merch telling people about their book based on their true coming out story. They showed a video preview of the musical during the show, which was pretty intriguing and showed their extremely religious mother discovering that her twin sons were gay. They told us that in real life, she threw holy water on them. Their mother, played by a drag queen, tried to process the information and even blamed one son for infecting the other. They concluded by saying that, clearly, you can’t pray the gay away.

 

Takeaways

My takeaways from the night were that I love drag, Manila is an amazing drag queen, and I need to go to more drag shows. The drag community is a funny, talented world of people who are unapologetically themselves. Watching the queens look so happy to be performing acts of their choice, especially Latrice with her colorguard, was amazing. I can’t wait to go to another show!