After coming 6th on the 7th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Trixie Mattel is one of the most famous Drag Race alumna and a key example a queen making a name for herself outside of the show. After solidifying herself as a fan favourite queen through her YouTube series UNHhhh with fellow season 7 star Katya that launched in 2016 (later becoming a series on Viceland), Trixie also made the step into music, releasing her debut album Two Birds in 2017 and then releasing One Stone a year later, on the night of her win on her season of RuPaul’s Drag All Stars. Whilst beginning with stand-up comedy tours, after her continuing success in the music industry (both her albums have occupied high spots on Billboard’s US Heatseekers Album Chart), Trixie began performing her country inspired songs live in her shows. This brings us to the Skinny Legend tour, a unique mix of lip-syncing, comedy and live music.
The show’s host was Dublin queen Victoria Secret, who opened with a slightly random – but hilarious – routine inspired by Netflix’s Birdbox, which also doubled as a critique of the most recent All Stars series. After a performance by another queen, Manchester-based Miss Blair, who did a routine dressed in a Tammy-Faye-esque Televangelist costume to a number entitled “You Can’t Pray the Gay Away”, Victoria’s Secret finished her set with an Ariana Grande lip sync number where she paid homage to the icon that is Gemma Collins whilst also saying ‘Thank U, Next’ to various British villains such as Piers Morgan, Katie Hopkins and Brexit. With this politically edged routine getting particularly loud cheers from the audience, Victoria’s Secret was a great opener to the show as she brought classic Drag Race references combined with distinctly British humour.
Shortly after Trixie came on, beginning with a lip-sync routine to ‘Roxie (The Name on Everybody’s Lips)’ from the musical Chicago. This number ensured instant laughter from the audience the moment she stepped on stage as the track was altered with a (slightly scary) computer generated voice changing ‘Roxie’ to ‘Trixie’ and ensuring that that really was the name on everybody’s lips. In line with other live lip-sync performances she has done in the past, the song was also remixed in with quotes from Drag Race meme-queens such as Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and Jasmine Masters. The only lip-sync number by Trixie of the night, the routine gave the audience what they were expecting – and wanting – from a drag show without being too predictable, thus effectively warming up them up for what was to come.
After this opening number, the show followed a rough format of stand-up comedy interspersed with song performances. From stories about other drag queens to discussions of her childhood, Trixie’s stand-up comedy covered all bases, particularly making fun of the way straight teenage girls appropriate drag culture. This type of humour exemplified Trixie’s stand-up; cutting and relevant yet done in a witty manner. Some of her jokes were definitely pushing it, often attracting gasps or nervous laughter from the audience, however there is a risqué element to all drag performances, and those who have watched UNHhhh or Trixie’s stand-up in the past – or any sort of drag show for that matter – would not have been surprised. Trixie herself was unapologetic with what she had to say; indeed, the first original song she performed, entitled I’ve Already Got Your Money, began with lines explaining how “this show could get quite offensive, this show could get kind of rude” (but she already had our money). As well as performing comedic original songs like this, a parody of Kim Carnes’ Bette Davis Eyes entitled Steve Buscemi Eyes, and, my personal favourite, a rendition of Colours of the Wind done entirely on a pink clarinet, Trixie also performed two songs from her newest album One Stone, getting local singer Soph (@sophingtheweb) on stage to perform The Well with her after seeing her covers on twitter. The performances of these acoustic country songs were heartfelt, yet still interjected with the sardonic, deadpan humour that peppered Trixie’s stand-up. The show concluded with an acoustic version of RuPaul’s Kitty Girl, a track which Trixie originally appeared on as part of the finale of her season of All Stars. Again getting another member of the audience to sing alongside her, this slowed down cover of the song that essentially signalled in her All Stars Three win was an appropriate, and oddly wholesome, finale. The rest of the audience must have thought so too, as the show ended with the entirety of the O2 Academy on their feet.
Header image via Them.