Fall Arts Preview 2022: Above & Beyond – Metro Weekly
If you thought the past two years were a drag, oh, honey, have a seat. Because the other, arguably better kind of drag is about to be running this town. And running all over and under it.
You could argue the local queens already do all of that, of course, with hostesses like Tara Hoot at Crazy Aunt Helen’s, or Logan Stone at the Loyalty Books Drag Queen Story Hour. We see you, boos. And don’t sleep on Riley Knoxx, the best Queen Bey impersonator anywhere — and City Winery DC ain’t anywhere but here, right in our backyard.
Of course, it’s not all drag, all the time. There is certainly plenty on offer that is free and clear of the “As Seen On Ru TV” onslaught juggernaut — Trixie & Katya, Shangela, DeLa & Jinx, even a whole cast of them performing in the holiday spectacle at MGM National Harbor.
There’s also an influx of former Saturday Night Live cast members, new and old, plus the return of David Sedaris, Paula Poundstone, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Heather McDonald, Alton Brown, and ALOK. Miss Richfield 1981, too!
Editor’s Note: This column has been modified slightly from the magazine edition.
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“I was just saying all the quiet bits out loud, but it was overdue,” Yola says, reflecting on a TED Talk she recently gave. “I just don’t hear this stuff enough in mainstream enough spaces, and so looks like it’s going to be me.”
Lending her voice to the things that nobody else is saying is the Bristol-born, Nashville-based artist’s M.O., and it seems to have resonated widely. “The nature of the record is one that speaks to, frankly, anyone who’s ever felt like an other, ever, in any space,” she says of the reception to her Grammy-nominated 2021 album, Stand For Myself. “Which is quite a lot of people on earth!” she adds with a laugh.
For many Drag Race queens, releasing a perfunctory, quickly-forgotten single or album is a rite of passage. In some cases, it’s a reward in itself.
Alaska Thunderfvck is one of the few who bucked the trend, pulling off a debut album that was not merely tolerable — it was fun, memorable, and genuinely unlike anything else, owing largely to her comedic sensibility and endlessly quotable personality.
The camp and comedy that are an inseparable part of the Alaska brand give a big boost to her fourth album, Red 4 Filth (★★☆☆☆).
Her stellar sense of comedic timing is on full display on the overly dramatic and winkingly funny “Beautiful (night 4 a) Breakdown,” a track that is at once an addictive and hilarious recounting of a mental health crisis.
Long before RuPaul’s Drag Race brought drag into millions of homes, events like Miss’d America, which will hold its 31st pageant this weekend, put the spotlight on the drag community.
Taking place in Atlantic City at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the weekend will kick off at 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept 23, with drag bingo hosted by last year’s pageant winner, Amanda Pörq.
Guests will have the chance to win cash and prizes and watch special performances by Sandy Beach, Morgan Wells, and Miss Elaine.
On Saturday, eight contestants will take to the stage of Hard Rock’s Sound Waves Theater, starting at 7 p.m., for the chance to be crowned Miss’d America 2023.
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