A drag attack will hit Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 8, when stars from the TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” bring their live stage show to Parker Playhouse.
As the title “War on the Catwalk – The Queens From Season 10” says, the showcase spotlights female impersonators from the season that wrapped up on June 28. The cast includes Miss Vangie, Monique Heart, Dusty Ray Bottoms, Blair St. Clair and the Vixen. The show is hosted by Miz Cracker and Monet X Change.
“These are numbers created by ourselves,” Monet X Change in a telephone interview. “Live singing, big dance numbers, whatever your take on drag is — how you flourish, how you shine. And that’s what we’re bringing you in ‘War on the Catwalk.’ We’re bringing you the best of what we do.”
Miz Cracker says the two hosts have plenty of practice working together. “We’ve hosted a show in New York City for three years,” Miz Cracker says. “It’s called ‘Turn It On’ at the Hardware Bar [in Hell’s Kitchen]. You get to hang out with me and Monet as [the drag queens] show you their true personalities. This is the real drag experience for me.”
Here is more from our interview with the hosts of “War on the Catwalk.”
MONET X CHANGE
You were already a seasoned entertainer, so what has this tour taught you about show biz?
I would say that … it just reinforced a lot of what I already knew being professional and dedicated to the art of drag. [Also] to live in the moment walking out onstage to whether it’s four people or 4 million people. Be committed. Never phone it in. Give a genuine, funny performance every time.
What was the biggest surprise for you doing “RuPaul’s Drag Race?”
I would say the biggest surprise was how intense and hard it is to do the show. It’s one thing to sit on your couch or in a bar … and say, “Those girls don’t know anything. Why don’t they do this or why don’t they do that?” When you’re in the moment, it’s such a hard, intense thing to do. You can’t understand it until you do it. Then, it’s oh, s---t, this is really hard.
Was there a narrative or experience cut from the TV show that you wish had been left in?
I would say I wish they had played more on my relationship with Miz Cracker. We worked together before, so it was clear that we were very encouraging of each other. We’re both very supportive of each other. I don’t think the show showed that a lot, but it was a very real thing in the workroom.
You’re from the Caribbean, aren’t you? St. Lucia, right?
My family is from there. I was born in Brooklyn. But we used to go every year, either during Christmas or the summertime. In the past couple of years, I haven’t. My parents come up here. It’s a bit more awareness of who I am now in the day of the internet. And it’s a very different experience now. Definitely positive. There are big fans of the show down there. People I never would have known like drag … now they come to the show. They love it. And they have come to love drag through me.
You studied opera, didn’t you?
I got my undergraduate in opera performance from Westminster Choir College [in New Jersey]. I used to do lots of live numbers, but working 10 different gigs that just wasn’t sustainable. On “War on the Catwalk,” you might get a little live singing from me.
Many celebrities have given testimony to their love of the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” show. Have any shared that with you personally and what kind of comments did they make?
My favorite was Rachel Bloom from “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” She was an ecstatic fan of the show. I think she watched this season and was really taken by what the queens had to say. She contacted me after. We met in L.A. kind of on accident. That meant so much to me.
You have a black belt in one of the martial arts, don’t you?
I have a second degree in karate. I studied for 12 years. That’s where a lot of the athletics come from when I’m performing.
What was your first paid gig?
My first paid gig would have been a bar called Suite Bar in the upper, upper, upper West Side. It was every Friday. I did it from about six years ago until about a month ago. I wouldn’t give that gig up, and when I’m in town I still do it, because I owe that bar so much for launching my career.
What would you like to tell your Florida fans about this show?
Well, what I’d like to say is that no one on this tour is anything less than a wonderful person. We love each other, but we are very competitive ladies. We’re working to show the other girl up. Sisterly love means something very different than sweetness in the drag world.
“War on the Catwalk – The Queens From Season 10” will begin 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., in Fort Lauderdale (in Holiday Park). Tickets cost $23.24 and $56.77. VIP tickets for $157.56 include premium seating and admission to a pre-show meet and greet. To order, call 954-462-0222 or go to ParkerPlayhouse.com.