WATCH: Todrick Hall and Bob the Drag Queen got the ‘Wrong Bitch’

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 9.17.51 AMHere’s a pairing as inspired as Dorothy and Toto: North Texas native and YouTube sensation Todrick Hall and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen has teamed up for a new single — part of Hall’s Straight Outta Oz Tour, coming to Dallas on July 21 (get tickets here) — called “Wrong Bitch.” The style (and lyrics) are taken directly from The Wizard of Oz, but with a tremendously sassy gay twist. Check it out!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Tickets to Bianca del Rio’s Dallas show go on sale Friday morning

 

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If you’ve been lucky enough to see Bianca del Rio — the hilarious Season 6 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race — in person, you know she lives up to her rep as “the Joan Rivers of drag:” Quick-witted, snarky, smart. She’s currently touring Australia, but AEG Live just announced the North American leg of her Not Today Satan Tour will launch in September, and Dallas is on the itinerary. She’ll perform Oct. 29 at the South Side Ball Room. Tickets go on sale Friday starting at 10 a.m., so lock yours in early. You can browse here or go directly to the link Friday morning here or here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Royale (with cheese)

Latrice-by-Erika-Wagner‘Drag Race’ fan favorite Latrice Royale joins her fellow queens for Divas of Drag, a nationwide tour that proves drag is bigger than Latrice herself

As anyone who has ever seen her perform could tell you, Latrice Royale is larger than life — in a multitude of ways.

Although she began performing drag in the ’90s, it wasn’t until 2012 when she chose, on a whim, to audition for Season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race that she became a star. Her deep baritone, huge frame and saucy attitude kept her in contention through the Top 4, alongside Phi Phi O’Hara, eventual winner Sharon Needles and Chad Michaels, who himself went on the win the first-ever All Star edition. When Royale was cut from the competition, Entertainment Weekly called the elimination “shocking.” (Royale was later voted Miss Congeniality by the show’s fans.)

Fans also know that life hasn’t always been easy for Royale, who spent time in prison for possession of marijuana and prescription painkillers. But she managed to survive the experience. “My size helped. The other prisoners didn’t mess with me. They knew who I was on the outside and gagged at my splits. The worst part of prison life was losing my mother,” she says. “It was the most alone I ever felt.”

She sings about the tragic loss in “I Need You Now,” a gospel song by Smokie Norful, on her new full-length album Here’s to Life. “It was the hardest song to record. It really speaks to how alone I felt at that moment, grieving in isolation,” she says.

The album reveals another surprising fact of Royale: She can sing, not just lip-synch. Unfortunately, unless you buy her album you’ll just have to take her word for it when she’s in Dallas Thursday at the House of Blues as part of Live Nation’s Divas of Drag Tour, which reunites her with fellow Racers including Alyssa Edwards, Kennedy Davenport and more.

“Because we all travel so much, we are bound to bump into each other, so I’ve grown to love a lot of these women,” she says. “As we were putting this together with Mimi, we were brainstorming on who we wanted to work with. It’s been amazingly fun, and a learning process — I’ve never done anything like this before.”

The resulting show is “a mixure of duets, groups live singing and powerhouse drag numbers with a lot of eclecticism,” Royale says. “You have Milk, who is very avant garde, and then you have the likes of Yara Sofia who dances, and Jujubee who is beautiful and gives you goddess — everybody gets something out of this show.”

And there’s what Latrice herself has to offer: A towering disco ball of sassy femininity with a basso-profundo voice. She often jokes how her deep baritone voice sounds like Barry White in drag, which she embraces on her album. “I’m not trying to sing like a woman,” she says. “My goal is to be authentic to myself, my voice and my experience.”

Screen shot 2016-04-07 at 11.37.46 AMHer style is so distinctive among the cast, it’s something she almost can’t get away from. While some queens can go incognito by dressing in boy-drag, Latrice admits, “I can’t hide this no matter what!” She loves the chance to interact with her fans, though.

“When you’re trying to eat [at a restaurant], it’s a little awkward sometimes, but still I’m gracious because you don’t know what kind of day that person has had — so why not? We’re all going to have bad days, but a rule for me is to always be gracious when they recognize you … cuz if they don’t recognize then you’re not doing something right!”

Latrice concedes that the success of RuPaul’s Drag Race has created some tension in the drag community between pageant queens, club queens and those in the middle who simply want to be on the show, but in general, the impact has been incredibly positive — not just for Royale, but for the culture at large.

“It has really elevated the art as a whole and put us in a place where we are exposed to the world,” she says. “Before, it wasn’t so easy. The show has afforded us the opportunity to travel the world  — it’s what you do with that opportunity that matters. But now people have something to aspire to that is greater than what we’ve had before.”

Arnold Wayne Jones
with additional reporting from Shane Gallagher

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2016.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cocktail Friday: ‘Drag Race’ Edition

RhuPaul1The Season 7 finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race airs on Monday, so we have this untuckable cocktail that shows charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent: The RHU-Paul’s Orange Tic Tac (inspired by the girls’ “lunch” of a single orange breath mint). Bring it out for your hunties at your watching party and shantay, you stay.

1 oz. Art in the Age rhubarb spirit

1 oz. O.J.

2 oz. sparkling wine

Cranberry juice

Orange peel

Optional: Galliano.

Making it: Mix spirit and O.J. in a glass over ice. Top with bubbly and a splash of cranberry; garnish with a flamed (flaming?) orange peel (and stir in a teaspoon of Galliano if you want a disco flair). Annnnd …. werk it.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Drag Racer Trixie Mattel added to Purple Party’s Ignite!

TTrixie Mattel, a queen who was booted earlier this year from Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has been announced as one of the entertainers at Ignite! The Opening Party of the Purple Foundation’s upcoming Purple Party. Mattel will join already-announced DJs Ivan Gomez and Dallas’ J Warren for the May 8 party, which takes place at Station 4. She’ll perform, of course, inside the Rose Room.

Tickets to all events are available here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Josh Groban: The gay interview

JoshGroban4 JamesDimmockChris Azzopardi talks to the sexy singer.

It all began with the bears. “I’m like, ‘Are you a baseball team?’” says Josh Groban, recalling an early-career encounter with a man who informed the crooner about his growing number of gay bear fans. Nearly 15 years later, members of the LGBT community — even the non-hairy ones — are still feeling struck and soothed by Groban’s elastic range. Stages (which drops April 28) is yet another swoon-worthy set from the singer. His first collection of songs from Broadway musicals, Groban takes on some of Broadway’s best for the album, which includes “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel and The Phantom of the Opera showstopper “All I Ask Of You,” a duet with Kelly Clarkson. While discussing the release during a recent interview, the 34-year-old also highlighted the significance of performing with the Washington, D.C. Gay Men’s Chorus during Obama’s 2009 presidential inauguration, the validation his younger “awkward” self felt after being named Sexiest Newcomer and how Ryan Gosling put the singer’s sexuality to the test.

Dallas Voice: I saw you in Toronto for Rufus Wainwright’s If I Loved You: Gentlemen Prefer Broadway – An Evening of Love Duets last summer. You really got your gay on.  Josh Groban: [Laughs] I’ll always put my gay on for Rufus.

During an interview you did regarding that performance, Rufus referred to you as a “dreamboat.” At this point in your career, are you used to that kind of attention from gay men?  Yeah, it’s happened from time to time. Look, when Rufus Wainwright is complimenting you, musically or otherwise, it’s a great honor. Something that was surprising to me that happened when I first got signed at 19, 20 years old: I was at some kind of shop, and I was walking around with someone — it was probably my girlfriend — and this guy comes up to me and goes, “Hey, I just want you to know, the bears love you.” I’m like, “Excuse me? What?” And I didn’t know what that meant! I’m like, “Are you a baseball team?”

How did you figure out what type of bears he was referring to?  I think some Googling had to take place. And it was like, “Oh. Ohhhh!” [Laughs]

And you’re like, “Not the bears in the forest.”  Yeah, and not the Chicago Bears.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Drag Race’ starts 7th season tonight

0630 flashSeason 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race starts tonight at 8 p.m., and Dallas drag queen Kennedy Davenport will be working her fierceness on the runway. For how many weeks, we can’t say, but you can meet Kennedy tonight at The Brick, where they will have a viewing party at 8, followed by a personal appearance by Kennedy at 9 p.m. And you can read an interview with her right now here.

Start your engines, and may the best woman … win!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Bianca del Rio at The Brick Saturday

IMG_8896She didn’t go on til nearly 1 a.m. and her set lasted just half an hour, but Drag Race winner Bianca del Rio nailed her comedy set at The Brick last night, with help from fellow Drag Racer Alyssa Edwards and others. She brought a number of locals onstage with her (including Dallas Voice contributor and goofy fangirl Chaka Cumberbatch) but her quick wit was what sold the set. (You can download and watch a brief clip below.)

Also on hand was Dallas designer Rey Ortiz (whom we profiled recently here) who presented del Rio with his “tip” — a custom-designed dress.
BiancaBrick

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas Red Party taps Drag Racer Adore Delano, DJ Patrick Kuzara

AThe Dallas Red Foundation and Pride Pharmacy will host the 6th annual Red Party, a fundraiser for Legacy Counseling and Founders Cottage, on Friday, Sept. 19. And RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 winner Adore Delano will be the featured entertainment.

Adore will perform alongside New York DJ Patrick Kuzara at The Globe, a venue west of Downtown, on the kickoff to Pride Weekend. Tickets are $59 until Aug. 22, then $69 after. Tickets at the door will be $80 (if available). Some special VIP tickets will also be available. Watch the announcement video below.

2014 Red Party Reveal from Dallas Red Foundation on Vimeo.

 

 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones