Talk about the evolution of drag! BenDeLaCreme may start off with goofy song parodies and wisecracking comedy like other drag queens, but that’s just to soften your senses for something far more sophisticated – her seductive strangeness creeps up on you, and gives you a lot more to chew on than your typical drag cabaret.
In many ways this is better than the original production, something that’s always good to hear about a revival. Above all, director Michael Arden and his team have made sure this tale of teenagers discovering their sexuality in hyper-repressed 1891 Germany is much more clearly told and played than before.
In opera, nothing succeeds like excess! Few operas are as deliriously excessive as Puccini’s Turnadot, and Franco Zeffirelli’s deliciously over-the-top production matches it to a T.
I was surprised at how thrilling it was when David Johanson, arguably the king of early 1970s New York rock, took to the stage of Manhattan cabaret institution Cafe Carlyle. Of course, he’s doing it under the name of Buster Poindexter, his martini sipping, jacket required alter ego. At this point, after retiring and returning to the persona multiple times, it essentially signifies that Johanson will be singing the Poindexter repertoire, while wearing a pompadour. When he talks about himself in the act, he calls himself David.
Well, this is fun! Drop Dead Perfect may not be the most substantial show ever to pay homage to “Ridiculous theatre”, but it is undeniably frisky and entertaining. It doesn’t hurt that it stars Everett Quinton, the greatest living actor in the Ridiculous tradition (and among the very best in any tradition, as far as I’m concerned).