‘Tis the season – time for drag queens to work a holiday theme to buy Mama a new pair of shoes! The hottest drag queen of the moment (a major new talent, really) Jinkx Monsoon has just such a show going on at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, featuring her musical counterpart, pianist/composer/raconteur Major Scales, titled Unwrapped.
Their previous show at the Beechman, The Vaudevillians, was a real stunner, a thoroughly thought-out evening of cabaret theatre, which successfully staked their claim to be regarded as major players in the worlds of both high drag and cabaret. As they are the first to admit, Unwrapped isn’t nearly as structured – they present it as a fairly free-form evening of holiday drag. But the great news is that Monsoon and Scales are more entertaining and smart than the vast majority of the competition, even when they aren’t doing something as high concept as The Vaudevillians.
They share traumatic Christmas stories, sing a Lana Del Rey song with “exactly as much effort as she herself puts into performing it” and connect the dots between Mariah Carey, Sarah Silverman and The Drowsy Chaperone. They even sing a couple of strong original songs by Mr. Scales, one a hilarious tribute to Addams Family Values villainess Debbie Jellinsky, one a sincere, affecting (and somewhat dark) ode to absent loved ones. See, crazy and smart!
Unwrapped, as loosey goosey as it may be, is certainly much more thoughtful than your typical holiday drag act. It’s somewhat similar to Mx. Justin Vivian Bond’s recent holiday shows – very funny but with genuine rage and love just below the surface – and since Justin isn’t doing more than a couple nights in the city this season, this is undoubtedly the longest-running holiday drag cabaret of any substance this year (now through December 10!). Don’t miss it!
For tickets, click here.