What a month, what a month, what a month! June is Pride Month, of course. And, my goodness, childrens, it was everywhere around WeHo, from bus stop artwork to an entire LGBTQ issue of “Entertainment Weekly” on newsstands. Did you see mama RuPaul on that cover with makeup by Raven and wig by Delta Work? That alone proves it was the gayest June ever!
Pride month kicked off at the Fringe Festival, of course. You know gays and theatre. They go together like my vodka and tonic water. I was especially fired up for Production D of “1001 Minutes of New Musicals.” Why, you ask? As I mentioned in my last column, Chris Smith, who plays “Father Finnegan” on the drag soap I star in [http://www.RoadsToKeystone.com], wrote the book/script to “Feet First.” It was the first of the three musicals from Production D.
“Feet First” was a cute lil gay show about roommates, Jace and Parkie, who are planning a foot orgy only to dive into a new romance together “feet first.” Chris’ “foot” puns kept coming, and the audience kept howling. The acting was brilliant, and the music was simply divine! The line “my feet taste like lox” gives you an indication of its tone. So saucy. Kudos to the team! I can’t wait to see what Jace and Parkie do next. Oh, yes. Chris is planning not one but two sequels! You heard it here first.
Now if a foot fetish musical isn’t gay enough, imagine if Jack of “Jack and the Beanstalk” fame fell in love with The Giant. Well, Disney kids, look no further! The second musical was “F**ked Up Fairytales,” where Jack and The Giant intend to marry only to be thwarted by spiteful King Midas, a President Trump clone no less. “Love Is Love” was such an incredible song that it merits a place among the classics of musical theatre. Book writer and lyricist Grace Jasmine – no, she’s not a drag queen – cleverly used her musical as an allegory for today’s gay community amidst our rocky political climate. All that in like 15 minutes! These folks are talented; I tell ya!
Rounding out Production D was “Chaturbate: The Musical.” Not necessarily gay, but it was set on Broadway with an ingénue working as a Chaturbate gal trying to make her theatre dreams come true. This musical’s explicit dialogue was only upstaged by its even raunchier lyrics. Love it! When do we see the bigger, stretched out version? Ooo, I went there. Ooops. No, I have not, but there you have it. Three great shows overall. Now there’s a Pride threeway!
Speaking of – Pride that is, I ventured into downtown West Hollywood on Sunday. Was I working? No. I never do on that day. Was I in full drag? Of course! It’s my moment to mingle with the community and have a conversation that lasts longer than throwing back a Kamikaze shot. My companion for the afternoon was – who else? B!!!!!!! My darling Brad Ulbrich. B and I departed my home at 4pm. I know what you’re thinking. Ingenue in the daylight?!! Yes, but only on Pride or for brunch. Seconds later, we stopped. Why? B had to take a photo with a guy wearing the gayest T-shirt ever. In bold letters was the name of Brad’s goddess … Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. Could it be gayer than that? YES!
As Brad and I moseyed up Kings Road, I used what’s called a “mailbox,” millennials, and mailed my Netflix. What was I watching? Probably “Girls Will Be Girls.” I don’t remember. I get smashed on Chardonnay and watch classic movies late at night on my – what’s called a DVD player, millennials! As the lid slammed shut, a gaggle of gays wearing their rainbow colors howled with laughter from across the street standing in front of Basix. “Ingenue uses a mailbox?!!!” they yelled out. Boy, they loved that. Who knew they would recognize this boozed up floozy running errands in her purple dress decked out with hundreds of rainbow ribbons? I was so understated. Those gays. They don’t miss a thing.
After that encounter, we finally started down Santa Monica Boulevard where we first met a Persian stud who offered us his yogurt. And by “yogurt” I want you to think dirty! Very dirty. In fact, I’ll take two servings. A few blocks later, though, we ultimately made it into WeHo proper. We greeted the masses, got a few prizes and beverages, and intended to see Erika Jayne in the festival. You know I have the distinction of introducing Erika on stage more than any other person in the club world. Ask Erika. She’ll tell you.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see her. Why? To go from Kings Road to San Vicente, it took me … 4 hours. Then, another hour from San Vicente to Robertson. Plus we still had Motherlode and The Chapel ahead of us. Thank goodness I wore my low, 3” bumblebee yellow mules.
But it was magic the whole time. I love you, WeHo! I do! I loved chatting and watching the diverse folks integrate and share one common bond. I loved seeing every walk of life whiz by with a smile or stumble by with droopy, alcohol-soaked eyes. However you want to celebrate is fine by me … as long as you celebrate.
And nothing could have topped off Pride month better than “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and its Season 9 finale. As I stood in the DJ booth at Gold Coast in my fringe dress and beehive hairdo adorned with a tiara, the finale began. The energy of that show and the appreciation for all its queens sent chills down my spine and tears into my eyes. The audience beamed with anticipation of who would be crowned “the winnnnaaaahhhhhhh.” And the winner was my choice mid-season. The love child of Ongina and Sharon Needles … Sasha Velour. A smart, artsy New York City queen with a megawatt smile. Bald and beautiful, glamorous and cray-cray. She is America’s Current Drag Superstar, and I could not be happier.
As I mentioned in my previous column, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has brought drag “out of the closet,” especially this year. That’s why I am so proud of this show. I’m proud of Season 9. I’m proud of every “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star, and I’m proud that you could hear a pin drop in a crowded bar on Santa Monica Boulevard as soon as we heard RuPaul’s cackle coming back from commercial.
Gold Coast was packed and paying attention. They were loud and vocal. They were excited, and they were … proud. As so many moments of the finale brought me secretly to tears, I looked over at a gentleman who was every bit of 70. There he was with his martini glass held high, celebrating his favorite queens with a smile. Then, I looked across the room to twenty-something, local drag queen Daphne in her gorgeous pink hair. She too was smiling, for she stoned all of Peppermint’s costumes in this episode. And then there was Sam, Jamey, Alli, Nick, Ralph, Kelly, Rene, my dearest Rico, and others, cheering and jeering on this and every season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” that I host.
And next to me was B. Brad stood with me in the booth. I remembered the Madonna shirt, our 5-hour walk down the boulevard, and the three gay shows closing later that night at the Fringe that we were about to see together. What a way to close out the gayest June ever. It was not only a Pride to remember … it was an incredible Gay Pride to be living! Once again, be proud, my darlings, and “Happy Gay Pride” all year long … from my world.