I’ll be honest, Roscoe’s Tavern wasn’t exactly the venue I would expect for a large-scale event like RuGlan7a. Featuring the ENTIRE cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7 means 14 queens performing, which also means a large crowd. I couldn’t fathom how Roscoe’s would pull it off, but I grabbed Linda, my friend and trusty photographer, and we headed off to Boystown.
Well, pull it off they did! In fact, Roscoe’s put on a fantastic event that surpassed even my highest expectations! The entire event ran like a well-oiled machine. The staff knew exactly how to herd the audience to where they needed to be. If anything went wrong, the audience had no idea. Well, except for a little technical difficulty with Kandy Ho’s number, but we won’t mention that.
Here’s the thing with Roscoe’s, it’s a smaller, more intimate venue. A show this size you would expect to be held in a much bigger location. (The Season 7 Premiere Party was at the Park West Theater.) Wanna know how Roscoe’s made it work? They limited ticket sales. You’d be surprised how many venues don’t bother with that and choose to fill to capacity instead. By limiting tickets, Roscoe’s only upped the experience. Sure it was crowded, but it wasn’t stifling. The audience was still able to move about with relative ease. Bravo Roscoe’s! Bravo!
The show started with the airing of the pre-show from the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7 Finale. For those who hadn’t seen it online, and for those who had, it was a great way to warm up the crowd. You can check out all of the numbers on YouTube, but here’s a sample from the Haus of Edwards.
Before I tell you about the performances, let me just say that every single one of these queens absolutely 100% adores her fans. They all expressed their extreme gratitude and appreciation for all of the fan love and support. They gushed over us just as much as the audience was gushing over them!
The queens performed in the order in which they were eliminated. That means Tempest DuJour went first. She came out in a great sequined dress and performed Eight Miles Wide by Storm Large. To quote Ginger Minj, “I about flood my basement!” I love that song. It has a special place in my heart as the first song I ever heard performed at a drag show (Pandora Boxx at Berlin several years ago). Since then, it’s been a staple sing-a-long song for road trips. So Tempest, who I already adore, gets bonus points for that.
Jasmine Masters’s slayed with a Patty LaBelle number. And I mean she SLAYED it. I don’t know what she’s been doing since the Season 7 Premiere Party, but Jasmine’s already strong lip syncing skills have bulked up considerably. It makes me think the last time I saw her perform was just an off-night because she was on fire! She was channeling Ms. LaBelle as well as Diana Ross, Tina Turner, and all the other great divas.
Mrs. Kasha Davis made me squeal with glee by performing her song Cocktail. (I apologize to anyone standing next to me at that moment). God on a wheel, it WAS a hoot and a holler! I love watching this queen perform and Cocktail is an amazing song. If you haven’t heard it yet, go buy it on iTunes. I swear. Just buy it. It’s that good.
At the Season 7 Premiere Party I felt Max’s performance was lacking, like she had some polishing to do. I loved her attitude and her runway looks on the show and that’s what won me over. But her final lip sync just wasn’t a song suited to her style, so I was still iffy on her performance abilities. I was wrong to doubt her. Max, dressed in animal fur and a vertebrae back brace, performed Be Prepared from The Lion King…and she KILLED it.
Jaidynn Diore Fierce, of course, brought the house down. She’s a powerhouse of energy and talent. Her performance left me feeling exhausted! Knowing she makes her own costumes AND taught herself how to sew, I’m always in awe of her ensembles. I love watching her perform. She leaves her heart and soul on the stage.
Now I would have thought Miss Fame would perform a song from her newly released album (go buy it. It’s AWESOME), but I guess she saved that for the night’s second show. Regardless, flanked by two very hunky men, Miss Fame had us captivated. She’s even more stunning in person and her performance skills have definitely been honed since I last saw her. I look forward to seeing her perform one of her own songs next time.
Trixie Mattel surprised me. At the Premiere Party she performed Aqua’s Barbie Girl, which is 100% what you would expect Trixie Mattel to perform. At Roscoe’s she performed something completely different…the polar opposite of Barbie Girl. I’m not sure of the name of the song, but it was a catchy hip-hop rap number interspersed with snippets of dialogue. Totally not what I would expect from Trixie and yet, it somehow worked.
If you’ve been on the Internet lately, you’ll know that Katya, this year’s Miss Congeniality, is a fan favorite…and that might be an understatement. The crowd ERUPTED when Katya took the stage. Remember what I said about my hearing aids? Yeah, her entrance hurt it was so loud. But I’m okay losing some of the hearing I have left to see her perform. She’s amazing, sexy, sultry, kinda dirty, and adorable all at the same time. Then she opens her mouth and you fall in love with her. She made us all admire her platform jelly shoes and had every one of us wanting our own pair. They’re office appropriate, right? Maybe with dress pants?
I ragged on Kennedy a lot this season. I honestly don’t think editing portrayed her character very well. Of course you know Kennedy was amazeballs in her performance. The queen can kick to high heaven then drop so hard into the splits it looks painful. But what came out at Roscoe’s that I hadn’t seen before, was her genuine personality. This wasn’t the “I’m giving an interview” facade or the competitor we saw on the show. This was pure Kennedy. She was funny and sweet, personable and engaging. Why the heck would the Drag Race producers edit that out? *narrows her eyes at the producers* Now I feel kinda bad for being so hard on her in my recaps…kinda.
We all know I’m #TeamGinger. Gotta stick with my fellow geek. I loved when she did the Bride of Chucky number and I loved her more this time. Ginger, who had walking pneumonia by the way, started with Megan Trainor’s All About that Bass and easily transitioned into a mash-up of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s I Like Big Butts. I died. Dear Lord, I died. It was everything and then some. Oh and Ginger’s got LEGS. She wore a shiny white/silver leotard with puffy sleeves that accented all the right curves. It wasn’t what I would consider a typical Ginger look, and it was amazing.
Pearl is another queen who grew on me. I liked watching her come out of her shell during the show. And no, she didn’t turn that shell into butt pads. Pearl came out, unpadded, in a very pretty pink pantsuit. I generally loathe pantsuits because they look like onesies for adults, but this one was gorgeous. I can’t even tell you what song she performed, but she gave a strong performance and I liked it more than the first time I saw her.
Finally, we saw the queen. This year’s America’s Next Drag Superstar. I feel like we’ve only seen a fraction of what Violet can actually do. Her burlesque number during the finale was gag worthy and I was kind of hoping she’d do something similar…NOPE! Violet came out in an amazing costume and headpiece reminiscent of the 1920’s. She must have taken some dance lessons since the show because her rhythm was on point. She was fun to watch and made you want to Charleston with her!
After the performance, those of us with photo-op wristbands were shuffled towards the front of the bar. Gradually, and by what appeared to be magic, a line formed. We were fortunate enough to have a spot next to one of the back bars. Sure, we were near the end of the line, but the bartender, whose name I forget, was incredibly nice (and handsome!). He gave us ice waters in pretty pink Roscoe’s cups and warned us that the photos were taken quickly. I wish we would have paid more attention to that last bit of advice.
As we reached the front of the line, there was the usual “where do you want to be” shuffle. We decided that since Linda really wanted to see Katya, she would take the spot on the floor next to her. And since I wanted to say hi to Ginger (who I had interviewed that afternoon) and Miss Fame, I would risk Walking Pneumonia and sit next to Ginger. Seriously, totally worth the risk.
I sat down between Ginger and Jaidynn, and told Ginger who I was. I got hugs! (Again, totally worth her possibly being contagious.) We chatted for a minute and while Ginger was telling Linda to sit on the floor next to Katya, I turned around and introduced myself to Miss Fame. I think she was as excited to meet me as I was to meet her! I adore her as much as a person as I do a performer.
Of course, while all of this was going on, the gentleman who had taken our phones had already taken a picture. Linda was at least paying attention.
When it finally dawned on me that the pictures were being taken (no one said anything that I could hear), I quickly turned around and this happened. I swear I didn’t have to pee!
Luckily, the Roscoe’s photographer took his shot after I got myself situated and Miss Fame put her arm around me. (Yes, I squealed silently to myself. Don’t judge me.)
THANK YOU ROSCOE’S!
We talked to the queens for a few seconds after that, but before I had a chance to say “hi” to Mrs. Kasha Davis, we were shooed away. There were more photos to be taken. As we walked away Linda turned to me and said:
“I told Katya she was my spirit animal and she rubbed me all over. It was like a baby being licked clean by its mother.”
It was a good night.