This was my first drag show in Seattle since I moved here, and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. NADC has an astoundingly high bar; just off the top of my head, people like Barnaby Darlington, Charlie Wood, Wet Mess, Spoiler Rotten, and Bi-Curious George all are some of the best drag performers I have ever seen. Bacon Strip, at its best, is the best drag I’ve ever seen. But all shows have an occasional miss, and I had no expectations.
What I got was the Bacon Strip equivalent of a warm hug welcoming me back to Seattle. As Sylvia explained, the theme was “Pot Luck Casserole,” or bring an old favorite. There were some classics, and new interpretations of classics plus old favorites, and a few new stars.
At first, I thought the show was a bit low energy. But as the performances continued, it was clear this was a show of old friends, and there was no need to go all out. There was a depth and familarity with the content that allowed the performers to relax and enjoy themselves. There was no need for death drops or elaborate reveals, and many of the performers chose to sing their pieces, rather than lip-sync.
Run of Show
Sylvia and Mother Oak opened with a round of banter. Honey Bucket’s absence was noted, but we were promised a great show nonetheless. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Mother Oak before, and want to see some more before I pass judgment. At least tonight, she proved herself a solid drag queen.
Sylvia O’Stayformore - This Girl (Burt Bacharach)
Sylvia sung this piece, and opened by reminsicing when she first did this in the early 90s, that it was “earthshaking when a drag queen would actually sing.” More than once, she objectified me and ran her hands through my hair. It was awful, and I’m never washing my hair again. She closed by telling a story about how she had also sung this on the stage at the Paramount.
Lazy Susan - “Ready for Anal” (New Lyrics for “Ready for an Angel”)
Another sung performance, this allowed Lazy Susan to slow the song down, and get properly calmed down and prepared. The lower beat gave it a more relaxed, almost louche feel to it, which suited well. This was my first time seeing Lazy Susan, and I am looking forward to more. She would not be out of place at Gold Rush, and would probably do quite well.
James Darling - “I Will Swallow Him” (New Lyrics?)
Another sung performance. I’ll stare at James all day long, so didn’t take very good notes here. Or even that many pictures.
It had been years since I had last seen Strawberry Shartcake, and she does not disappoint. The outfit was worth the price of admission alone, a disturbing combination of wholesome and slut all in one. This was another sung performance, and I didn’t write down the details.
Mother Oak - Mash-Up (“Conga” (Gloria Estefan), and maybe Ethel Merman?)
She definitely brought up the energy here, and very much a “London” performance. I really identify mixing up songs, pulling in sound memes, and adding in spoken word bits as iconic London drag style. The second part of the act, a old-school Broadway song, was beautiful.
Bobby Jo Blessings
Another sung performance; I felt sure this was a classic, but several minutes of googling fails to find the lyrics. Dressed up as a slice of pumpkin pie, she took us on a mid-western journey through the dilemma that is pumpkin pie. She was the last performance before the interval. 1
Sylvia - Angie Baby (Helen Reddy)
Another utter classic from Sylvia; she opened this by talking about singing it at Blue Plate Special. It brought back memories of going to Blue Plate with Jed Brubaker at “Rebar’s Place.” My memory was it was on Wednesday evening (or was that Collide-o-Scope?) However, Sylvia talked about taking Blue Plate on tour, so maybe there was a traveling show as well. It was good to hear her sing it again.
James Darling - “Glitter And Be Gay” (Bernstein, Sung by Dawn Upshaw)
I know almost no classical singers: Dawn Upshaw, Ute Lemper, and Audra McDonald, and yet I knew this was Dawn Upshaw. However, I didn’t know it was from Candide, which makes it even more amazing as a choice. Also, at the end, James pulled a pearl necklace out of his ass. It’s stuff like this that keeps me coming back to Bacon Strip.
Lazy Susan - Meet My Friend (Eddy Huntington)
A great interpretation of the song, with an inspired costume choice to highlight her one-eyed monster. This song always seemed like the epitome of Italodisco, although it’s actually an Englishman (who, later in life, was a head teacher!)
Mother Oak - Mash-up (“Purse First” (Bob the Drag Queen); “Cerulean” from Devil Wears Prada)
Again, another piece that wouldn’t have felt out of place at Apple and Pears Cabaret. Mother Oak seems like a pretty traditional drag queen. I don’t mean that as negative; “my” drag is a broad umbrella, and it’s nice to see something very traditional.
Strawberry Shartcake - “I’m So Excited” (Le Tigre)
Zombie cheerleaders pulling out their own colons. It just does not get better than this.
Bobbie Jo Blessing - “Let it Be” (Sung)
I want to introduce Bobbie Jo to the various modest fashion websites. I understand that a significant part of Bobbie Jo’s persona is the dated fashion, nevertheless, I want to see what fashionable choir robes would look like.
I saw a few people I had known from my first tour of duty in Seattle. BD and I chatted a bit, and he tried to convince me to go to fetish night at CC’s. However, by the time I got home, I was beat. FD was also there, and probably looking as good as he ever has. (And yes, those are fake initials.)
Yeah, I know. But it was honestly what I was thinking when I wrote it. At least I don’t spell it “colour.” ↩