The drinks were stiff and so was the competition. The crowd was ready for their queens. Sequins and all the colours of the rainbow peppered the audience for a spicy show at the Algonquin Commons Theatre Thursday night.
The jokes started immediately with the host Trinity the Tuck roasting (reading) the latecomers. “We’ll wait for you,” Trinity said.
Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race know that reading is fundamental, so the laughs began immediately and they didn’t stop.
“I love Ottawa,” Silky Nutmeg Ganache told the crowd. “We’ve been here three times. We are in Ottawa, right?”
“I love it here,” Trinity the Tuck said as the audience cheered. “Queer rights, free healthcare, a lot of (f—in’) snow. It’s only outside, right?”
“Reading” glasses aside and the “library” closed, Trinity thanked the audience for teaching tolerance, and enjoying with open hearts, and was met with 16 audience members running to the stage to hand her tips.
In an authentic act of class, Trinity asked the audience if there were any aspiring drag queens in the audience. Someone in the first row stood up and she handed them hundreds of dollars in audience tips. The crowd roared in admiration and appreciation.
“Solid move, the true meaning of a queen right there,” said Abby Calhoun who found the ad for the show on social media.
Drag shows draw a big crowd and Thursday was no exception.
“Drag shows are a real treat and the ladies put on an unreal performance,” said Jenna Tregwin, theatre marketing coordinator for the ACT.
Friends Mya Blakely, a social service worker student, and Amanda O’Donnell were thrilled to be there after winning tickets from a Students’ Association event earlier in the week.
“I played a game and won! Look at these seats!” said Blakely from a bird’s-eye view from the balcony.
“We have been watching RuPaul’s Drag Race for years,” said O’Donnell, a child and youth care student.
“We watch it so much that we replay episodes. We love it. So, it was great to see Trinity live, she’s been around since so early in the show,” said O’Donnell.
Silky started the lip-synchs with each drag queen doing two songs. Jasmine Kennedie, with a Jessica Rabbit-esque costume and performance, dazzled the audience.
Ever-creative Jimbo the Clown with two horrifically stunning costumes performed to Hakuna Matata while dressed like a gorgeous warthog. Jimbo’s second number was a much scarier, spicier rendition of Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics, dressed as the evil queen from Snow White, mixed with Skeletor and Cruella DeVille, thrilling the first few rows with lap dances.
Tori Langmuir, who saw the show advertised on Instagram said, “Silky Nutmeg Ganache is probably my favourite one and I just did the VIP meet and greet and getting to talk to her was so cool.”
“Silky is my favourite,” Miranda Slate said. “I saw it on Instagram, and I immediately texted her. We have to go.”
“Jimbo is my favourite,” said Grace Forrester. “He’s different and creative. We got to meet them all. (It was) the best night.”
Michelle Tasker, donning a rainbow Free Mom Hugs shirt, got a hug from each queen at the VIP event prior to the show. “It was awesome,” said Tasker.
“It was incredible to see them up close, we were in the fourth row,” said Tasker. “Heidi N Closet was incredible. The moves on stage, the boots, the whole show was amazing.”
Karen White-Jones, who accompanied Tasker to the show said, “What a mom’s night out! Heidi N Closet, the hair chaps, so creative.”
With all 700 seats sold, and so many whistles, cheers, laughs and great memories, it’s not hard to imagine getting another opportunity for future shows.
“Drag Shows are always a fantastic time at the ACT filled with lots of energy, laughter, and excitement. We hope to have War on the Catwalk back on stage soon!” said Tregwin.