Normally on a Tuesday night, you can find me in bed, with Forensic Files blaring on in the background while playing Rollercoaster Tycoon on my cell phone, writing a blog post, or doing some other relatively inane activity. Usually my pants are way above my waist at this point. Well, this Tuesday, I did something different. I attended a show, Trixie Mattel: Now With Moving Parts at the Park West on Armitage. Doors opened at 7pm and there was already a line wrapped around the building when I arrived at 7:10pm. Luckily, it moved fairly quickly and I was able to snag a seat with a little table. In keeping with the unusual and non routine, I ordered a Blue Moon beer.
After a fun few numbers by opener, Brandon Gwinn, Trixie at last graced the stage with a variety of pink ensembles, encompassing her favorite themes. Basically Elvis Presley’s twin Aaron actually lived and grew up wanting to be Dolly Parton and became Trixie Mattel…
I went by myself. I wasn’t afraid to be alone, but I was reticent to ask a friend to commit $50 and a school night to something that they aren’t familiar with and might not understand or enjoy. With the exception of a few friends, a lot of my social network is unfamiliar with drag queens and the colorful, abundant and non PC culture that surrounds them. That said, in speaking with a few individuals, including my Lyft driver to the venue, I found that people are far from weirded out. They’re interested.
Trixie Mattel is the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3. She also had a stint on Season 7. I have written about her in the past as she stars in UNHhhh, the YouTube webseries with my other favorite drag queen, Katya, in addition to having a show with her on Viceland.
When it comes to drag queens, I’d like to think that most people at least know RuPaul. Here she is with Kurt Cobain and his baby daughter Frances Bean at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1993. Her breakthrough hit in the same year (that Cobain reportedly was a huge fan of), was the song, Supermodel (You Better Work). For you more ignorant Millenials, this jam was covered by some random in The Lizzie McGuire Movie where Hillary Duff magically has an Italian twin…
Fun Fact: RuPaul had a cameo in The B-52s Love Shack music video. *The More You Know!*
Prior to the show and during intermissions the audience was kept entertained with a large variety of ecclectic pop hits, from Lady Gaga, Avril Lavigne, 4 Non Blondes, The Bangles, One Direction, and other drag queens, like Sharon Needles and Madonna (kidding).
Trixie was really my gateway into drag culture. I saw her on social media several months ago and was transfixed by her face. It was attraction and repulsion, if I’m honest! Her makeup is so heavy and over-the-top, but precise and fabulous. Much like her makeup, Trixie’s show was full of dichotomies. Dolly Parton hair, Evangelical motifs, “padding” (boobs and butts on queens), complemented naughty jokes about race, sexual orientation, and politics. I found myself laughing, nay, cackling very loudly.
Trixie, aka Brian Firkus, is not only a standup comedian and reality television star; she is also an accomplished musician, singing and playing the guitar and autoharp while maintaining her trademark biting, self-deprecating comedy. There were a few familiar jokes, but a lot of it was fresh (referencing RPDR Season 10 goings on) and hilarious. Trixie is a consummate professional and in addition to her tour, she has two albums, Two Birds and One Stone, “now available on iTunes”, as she would say.
What I loved about this outing was the unbridled laughter and feeling of inclusion int he audience. Even though I was by myself, I didn’t feel lonely. In fact, I sat next to a man who was alone as well and we exchanged pleasantries. I also enjoyed deviating from my normal schedule, even though my grandmotherly ways and desire to go to bed by 8pm are very compelling.
I guess my points are: step out of your comfort zone, don’t worry about being by yourself, support drag queens, and do, see and participate in things that make you happy!
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