With the current mainstream success of Rupaul’s Drag Race we are seeing an influx of drag tours sweeping the nation featuring some of the biggest names in the industry. Following the sell out dates of the 10’s Across The Board tour which saw Aquaria, Kameron Michaels, Eureka and Asia O’Hara from season 10 head down under, a troupe of the funniest queens prepared to make Australia cackle with laughter. The Comedy Queens Tour came at the perfect time as the country was in a bit of a state of uncertainty and confusion with our political agenda and needed a good laugh. Boasting a line up of Rupaul’s Drag Race alumni the tour also excitingly brought 3 legends of drag to Australia which really cemented the spotlight drag has received away from the juggernaut TV Show.
Most drag tours revolve around lip synching, fully choreographed numbers and live musical performances but this tour was a little different. Instead each act would perform a stand up set which would also hear them roasting the other performers. After all, this line up included some of the funniest queens so it only seemed appropriate that this was the basis of the tour. However set in a club setting seemed a bit strange as the audience was forced to stand for the 2 hour duration of the show as the performers told jokes. This tour would’ve been better suited for a sit down venue as the energy was noticeably quite different compared to the likes of the 10’s Across The Board Tour which was perfectly hosted in this same venue earlier in the month.
Following a massive video introduction that had the crowd screaming like crazy when each of their favourites was announced, the hostess for the night Nancy Shields took to the stage to welcome the eager audience. Wasting no time she quickly introduced the first act for the evening, Sherry Vine. The drag legend kicked off her set with an original comedic number “You’re A Whore’ where she made fun of the New York drag scene and its lack of choreography as she animatedly walked up and down the stage. Surveying the crowd about their sexualities she picked out a straight guy and dedicated a comedic cover of ‘Hallelujah’ to him where she changed the lyrics to “How I blew ya” and had the whole crowd singing along in unison. “I would like to just apologise to you all, because next time you hear that song in church you wont be able to think of it the same” and she was right. Those lyrics are always going to be cemented in my head.
Ginger Minj was the first of the Rupaul’s Drag Race alumni to take the stage and it was instantly made known that she was a crowd favourite thanks to some deafening screams upon her arrival. She talked about her last visit to Brisbane and how she visited the theme parks and how she wishes could take some of her cast members to the ill-fated river rapids at Dreamworld which was met with a little cringe. She talked about her home town and how she’s just a boy from a “little bogan town” before tackling the American political agenda. She confessed “If we really wanted an orange cheeto to run the country then we should’ve just elected Coco Montrose” which had the crowd hysterically laughing. She brought an excited fan on stage as she finished her set with a comedic rendition of a villain song as her audition for Ursula.
Up next was the second drag legend, Jackie Beat. Excitingly announcing that it was her first time to Brisbane she pleaded that she needed some controversy and publicity so encouraged the crowd to film all of her roasts and put them online to stir the pot. No one was safe from Valentina to Miss Vanjie. She performed a little comedy country sketch about acronyms before a musical number to which she dedicated to the gay men in the crowd. Monet X Change quickly followed with her confession of her love for tradies in Australia. She didn’t mess around by immediately roasting her fellow Season 10 queens that then turned to her fellow cast members on this tour. Her set was short and sweet but she promised she would come back very soon for a little lip sync number.
This tour wouldn’t be complete without the current reigning All Stars queen, Trixie Mattel. This queen has made a career out of comedy with her popular youtube and TV series with Katya. She immediately had the crowd laughing as she explained how she cant do death drops or tongue pops so she just says the words and goes “Ive done them”. She picked up her acoustic guitar and dedicated a song to anyone who would get offended from tonights show with the hilarious chorus “I’ve already got your money”. She then continued to make fun of meet n greets and some of her fellow queens before things got a little awkward. She kept repeating a sentence and looking around confused because a music cue wasn’t followed and she stormed off stage in retaliation and quickly thanked the crowd.
If you like drag then Lady Bunny is a name you would be very much familiar with. The New York drag icon was apart of the legendary Club Kids and is someone most drag queens look up to. She kicked off her set with an underwhelming mash up of pop songs performed in a comedic restyling. But she quickly regained her momentum with her stand up portion of the set as she dragged Rupaul before closing with a funny parody of ‘Vogue’ which was dedicated to RPDR. There is always going to be one trainwreck in a stand up comedy show and sadly the performer was Monique Heart. The dancing queen completely flatlined with all of her hook up and escort stories that were more cringe worthy than actually funny. She tried to give it a different comedic edge by talking about jesus but the crowd became even more unreceptive. She finished with a lip sync of ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ which highlighted her actual talent which was lip synching and dancing.
Rounding up the line up of comedy queens, Jinkx Monsoon took to the stage to a massive applause. The cabaret trained performer quickly announced “I’m not going to sing because I would hate to shade the other queens who have attempted to sing” which immediately had the audience on her side and laughing along with her. She was in the middle of telling a story about how big of a slut she is before a heckler interrupted her and her reply was priceless. “This is a scripted show sir and you don’t have a line”. The audience screamed in laughter as she burned the heckler and resumed to explain how big Trixie Mattel’s dick is. She however lost the crowd with her last story about having a condom stuck inside of her which didn’t really seem to have a punchline.
Monet X Change returned to the stage for a lip sync performance of Christina Aguilera’s euphoric anthem ‘Let There Be Love’ before the whole cast came out to take one final bow. As a whole the Comedy Queens Tour gave a diverse insight to the comedic side of drag but with it’s long duration it would’ve been better suited for a sit down venue. However the fans walked away pretty happy that they just got to witness some massive names in an interactive and intimate forum.