When the cult TV series “RuPaul’s Drag Race” kicked off its fifth season on Logo last winter, one cast member, the blond, 25-year-old starlet Jinkx Monsoon, introduced herself as “Seattle’s premiere Jewish narcoleptic drag queen.” The line’s ironic specificity foreshadowed the cultural precociousness that Monsoon brought to an otherwise bland season. When Monsoon impersonated Edie Beale from the documentary “Grey Gardens,” the show’s other twentysomething drag queens didn’t even get the reference. The appealingly sweet contestant wound up winning the season as much for her pop-cultural literacy as for the clever high gloss she brought to her costume concepts and presentations.
Monsoon puts both of those attributes — not to mention a terrific, wide-ranging voice — to good use in her current stage show, “The Vaudevillians,” at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. With her partner, the suited-up extra man Major Scales, on piano, Monsoon has concocted a delightful, ridiculous conceit: She and Scales play Dr. Dan Von Dandy and Miss Kitty Witless, a 1920s vaudeville husband-and-wife duo whose Model T is engulfed in a landslide while touring Antarctica. They awake nearly 100 years later, “thanks to modern-day global warming,” to find that some of their biggest Jazz Age show-stoppers — including “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Take a Chance on Me” and “Fat-Bottomed Girls” — have been appropriated by modern-day artists. (Kitty nags Dan for never having secured the copyrights.)
Full thing here. Congratulations to Jinkx and everyone who gets to watch Jinkx be Jinkx, and re: the opening line of this review: Maybe RuPaul's Drag Race wouldn't forever be labelled a "cult TV series" if Emmy voters got with the program. (The fact that RuPaul is not among the nominees for Best Reality Host is a travesty.)