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Show Queens: Drag Highlights Off-Broadway

Show Queens: Drag Highlights Off-Broadway


Broadway's Kinky Boots and Hedwig haven't cornered the market on men in heels. Check out these five new shows featuring boys who beat their faces.


With the help of her gay assistant, an exterminator accidentally mutates New York's bedbugs into human-size monsters in out creators Paul Leschen and Fred Sauter's freakishly funny sci-fi rock musical. Think Rocky Horror meets Little Shop. Brian Charles Rooney, who played Lucy in the 2006 Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera, is a gorgeous, golden-throated standout as French-Canadian pop star Dionne Salon -- get it? -- who's somehow involved.
ArcLight Theatre, through November 2.


Fabulous! The Queen of New Musical Comedies
Anything goes for drag performers Laura Lee Handle (Nick Morrett) and Jane Mann (Josh Kenney) when the bosom buddies pretend to be dames at sea on a cruise ship that could be capsized at any moment by all the campy, low-budget charm. Dan Derby and Michael Rheault's old-school musical farce also includes a lesbian cruise director, a crew of spunky twinks, and a closeted movie star who might be a perfect match for one of the men beneath the makeup.
Times Square Arts Center, through October 27.


I Like to Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is a Mango
Theatre 167's ambitious play tackles almost two dozen multiethnic characters whose lives and dreams intersect in the wildly diverse New York neighborhood of Jackson Heights in Queens. Among the colorful denizens, which include a closeted cop and a gay Latino club kid with a disapproving dad, Jerreme Rodriguez makes a lasting impression as Reina, a Colombian drag queen who comforts a young tomboy rebelling against feminine gender roles.
New Ohio Theatre, through September 27.


Audiences vote for the winner in this lightly updated revival, directed by Matt Lenz, of the campy 1991 musical featuring dudes dolled up as beauty pageant contestants. It's rather tame by today's shady RuPaul's Drag Race standards, but Nic Cory, Alex Ringler, Marty Thomas, Seth Tucker, Curtis Wiley, and Skivvies star Nick Cearley each bring "something extra" to their broad-stroked broads, hilariously costumed by Stephen Yearick. A cast recording is in the works.
Davenport Theatre, through January 4.


Snow White and the Seven Bottoms
What's the fairest spoof of them all? The Gold Dust Orphans, a crowd-pleasing Boston-based theatrical troupe known for queer pop culture parodies like Mildred Fierce, presents Ryan Landry's bawdy musical comedy, cleverly based on the Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Led by Landry himself as the cape-swirling Evil Queen, the animated cast includes hilarious drag legend Varla Jean Merman in the very unexpected role of Prince Charming.
Theatre 80, through October 26.

Read more of this month's theater picks here.

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Brandon Voss