Anyone who knows me knows there are three things I absolutely love (aside from my husband, that is).
#1. Glitter and rhinestones
#2. Showing horses
#3. Drag Queens
So when the opportunity presented itself to see RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Season 6 winner, Bianca Del Rio, I jumped at the chance. Ok, it was more like a loud squeal followed by a somewhat frantic, more like spastic, search online to get tickets. It’s okay, the ladies at the office are used to hearing random squeals from my side of the room.
For those of you unfamiliar with Bianca Del Rio, the New York Times recently did a great piece on her. You can check it out HERE. The article describes her as “the Joan Rivers of drag” and they’re absolutely right. Ms. Del Rio doesn’t fit into the stereotypical “I can’t believe that’s a man lip-synching Beyonce” category. She doesn’t fit the mold of the campy comedy queen either. Oh no, Bianca Del Rio is a force all her own. And as the other contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race learned, she’s a force to be reckoned with.
So I grabbed my fellow horse show friend Heather, also a big Drag Race and Bianca fan, and headed to the House of Blues in Chicago to see the Rolodex of Hate tour.
I love the House of Blues. Their food is amazeballs and their service is always awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal there. The bonus? If you eat there before a show and spend $20 per person, you don’t have to wait in line with everyone else to get into the theater. SCORE! Think of it like Disney’s Fast Pass system only your belly is full of delicious food and drinks.
The doors opened at 7:00, but the show didn’t start until 8:30. Now if you’ve ever gone to a drag show, you know that the timing of the show is rarely convenient for folks who have a regular 9-5 job…or at least for those who have to be functional the next day. Most shows I’ve seen have been on a Thursday night starting at midnight. Yeah, work is great the next day, let me tell ya. So the 8:30 show on a Sunday night was SUPER awesome and I’m grateful to Bianca, the Powers That Be, and the folks at the House of Blues for giving me the chance to be semi-conscious at work Monday morning…and I use the phrase “semi-conscious” very loosely.
But I digress…If you’ve seen Drag Race then you know Bianca is a no-holds-bar kind of queen. She speaks her mind, isn’t afraid to insult anyone, isn’t going to take flack from anyone, but deep down has a big squishy heart. Oh, and she’s a frakking GENIUS with a sewing machine. Seriously, this queen can SEW. I’d give my right arm to learn from her. Ok, maybe my left arm since I’m right-handed.
The Rolodex of Hate tour is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. She’s got an actual rolodex on stage that she flips through. Really! She says, it’s there to keep her on track because her mouth moves faster than her mind and she doesn’t want to miss anything. It comes in handy and seeing the cards as she flips through was a hilarious touch.
Generally, the show is about her life growing up in New Orleans, her drag epiphany, her career, and of course plenty of juiciness about other queens. For the record, she does a killer impression of Lady Bunny.
Jokes abound and no one is safe. And I mean NO ONE. Not her family. Not her friends. Not the employees. And especially not the folks in the audience she can see from the stage. This Queen will read you faster than a knife fight in a phone booth. If you sit up front, make sure you have thick skin, or at least, that you can take a joke. Nothing is off limits in this show and Bianca doesn’t hold back. If you offend easily and can’t handle a good dose of swearing, this isn’t the show for you. (And really, you’re missing out).
I don’t want to give too much away, and I’m sure the show changes at least a little bit every time. I will say that her bit about losing her luggage in Wisconsin and having to put together an outfit from Walmart for a show, had me laughing so hard I couldn’t catch my breath!
Bianca is gorgeous and not in that “she looks exactly like Brittney Spears” kind of way. She’s uniquely gorgeous in a way that’s memorable. That makeup? You can see it from the back of the house. Her eyelashes must be about six inches long. How she keeps her eyes open is likely a test of strength. Either that, or they’re closed and she just paints her eyeballs onto her eyelids. Also possible.
She came out in a STUNNING red sequined dress. Actually, stunning is an understatement. (No, she’s not square dancing in that picture). I wanted to get a close-up look at that dress so badly my fingers itched. The cut, the fit, the way the fabric gracefully flowed when she moved… oh man, I was drooling. I’m still drooling just thinking about it. I could have stared at it for hours. See #1 on my list of Things I Absolutely Love. That dress was an ADD Girl’s dream. No really, I’m going to pine for that dress for a very long time.
Needless to say, we had a blast! Since Heather and I are both American Saddlebred owners, (which are essentially the drag queens of the horse world, in case you didn’t know), we left deciding to add “Bianca Del Rio” to our list of awesome show horse names…and of course it would have to be a gelding. Who doesn’t want a horse with an attitude?
Even if you’ve never seen Drag Race or heard of Bianca Del Rio, you need to check her out. (Btw, it’s an 18 and over show). You’ll laugh so hard you’ll swear you wet your pants.
A very special thanks to Project Publicity, Inc. for the great high-quality pictures and link to the New York Times article!