Posts Tagged ‘Jinkx Monsoon’

Jinkx Monsoon’s ‘Red & Green’

December 25th, 2015 Comments off

Our favorite drag superstar, Jinkx Monsoon, shares her special brand of holiday cheer. Merry Christmas! Hear the entire Queens of Christmas collection, featuring the ‘ladies’ of RuPaul’s Drag Race by clicking here.

Want a Monsoon flashback? Read our exclusive interviews with Jinkx from 2013:
Jinkx Monsoon, Part I
Jinkx Monsoon, Part II



Categories: Show Folk, The Buzz Tags:

Cracking the Nut: 5 Can’t-Miss Holiday Theatrical Events

December 5th, 2013 Comments off

Broadway Blog editor Matthew Wexler gathers some theatrical chestnuts for the holiday season.

"Nutcracker Rouge" presented by Company XIV and The Saint At Large. (photo: Phillip Van Nostrand)

“Nutcracker Rouge” presented by Company XIV and The Saint At Large. (photo: Phillip Van Nostrand)

How many times can you drag you or your loved ones to George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker or the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring dozens of leggy and bleach-toothed Rockettes? I admit… these are iconic New York experiences, and if you’ve never been to the Big Apple during the holidays, at least one of them should be on your to-do list, along with the tree at Rockefeller Center and the decorated windows along Fifth Avenue. But for those with a more adventurous (and occasionally twisted) take on the holiday season, consider one of these theatrical ventures that is sure to have you bellowing “Ho, Ho, Whoa?” in no time.

"Nutcracker Rouge" presented by Company XIV and the Saint At Large. (photo: Robert Zash)

“Nutcracker Rouge” presented by Company XIV and the Saint At Large. (photo: Robert Zash)

Nutcracker Rouge
For grown-ups only, this mischievous and somewhat loose interpretation of the beloved holiday classic gets cranked up a few notches thanks to the innovative choreography and circus antics from director/choreographer Austin McCormick. Merging dance, circus, cabaret and naughty theatrics, you’ll be have more than visions of sugar plums dancing in your head.

A stand-out performance by Laura Careless, who transforms from wide-eyed muse to a 21st century version of Gypsy Rose Lee is worth the ticket alone—along with a bevy of high-heeled boys in thongs.

Nutcracker Rouge
Minetta Lane Theatre
18 Minetta Lane
Through January 5
Presented by Company XIV and The Saint At Large

Want a sneak peek?

Major Scales and Jinx Monsoon.

Major Scales and Jinx Monsoon.

Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: Unwrapped
Our favorite drag superstar returns with an all-new holiday special, featuring original songs, covers, comedic flair and drag sass that has catapulted actor Jerick Hoffer’s alter ego into sparkly stardom. The pair’s recent hit, The Vaudevillians, just ended a sold-out run at The Laurie Beechman Theater, so now is your chance to catch them in all of their holiday glory.

Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: Unwrapped
Laurie Beechman Theater
407 West 42nd Street
December 7 – 10  

Artwork by Alex Robinson

Artwork by Alex Robinson

A Very Special
Star Wars Minute
Star Wars Holiday Special
Special: Live!
That’s not a typo, just the quirky humor of co-hosts Alex Robinson and Pete the Retailer, who have been hosting the cult-worthy Star Wars Minute podcast over the last year. The duo will tackle the Star Wars Holiday Special, a 1978 TV broadcast, in a live show. Creator George Lucas reportedly said, “If I had the time and a hammer, I would track down every copy of that program and smash it.”

Parkside Lounge
317 East Houston Street
Wednesday, December 11, 7 p.m.
21 and over
Free plus 2-drink minimum

Take the jump for two more picks and bonus recommendations!

Read more…

Interview: Monsoon Season, Jinkx Takes Manhattan, Part II

August 8th, 2013 Comments off

Broadway Blog editor Matthew Wexler continues his conversation with Jerick Hoffer, the creative force behind drag persona Jinkx Monsoon and the co-creator of The Vaudevillians.

Kitty Witless in "The Vaudevillians." (photo: Wilson Models)

Kitty Witless in “The Vaudevillians.” (photo: Wilson Models)

When we last left Hoffer, he was recounting the tawdry trials and tribulations it took to become RuPaul’s next drag superstar. But the winner of season five knew from the get-go that wearing that crown has a short shelf life, so he pulled together a creative and management team to keep the Monsoon momentum going. Part of this process was revisiting an act that germinated while he was still in college — the characters of Kitty Witless and her piano-playing husband, Dr. Dan von Dandy.

Hoffer says the characters were inspired by an arduous college production of Our Town, where he and future collaborator Richard Andriessen were both playing “boring roles in a boring play.” Trying to pass the time backstage, they pretended to be the oldest characters in town and riffed on popular songs as if there were written in an older era. Eventually that evolved into the concept for The Vaudevillians, a Tin Pan Alley husband and wife team who have been frozen alive while on tour in Antarctica.

Thanks to global warming, the faux stars of follies, speak-easies and burlesque reviews have been thawed out for modern audiences. Their repertoire, including “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” which was originally about the Woman’s Suffragette Movement, and “Drop it Like it’s Hot,” which was originally about the invention of the electric iron, is filled with hilarious comedic bits and powerhouse vocals.

Currently playing to sold-out crowds at New York City’s Laurie Beechman Theatre, The Vaudevillians is a tour-de-force for Hoffer as he kicks up his heels and belts out retro-arrangements of popular songs ranging from “I Will Survive” to “Tainted Love.”

Dr. Dan von Dandy and Kitty Witless in "The Vaudevillians." (photo: Wilson Models)

Dr. Dan von Dandy and Kitty Witless in “The Vaudevillians.” (photo: Wilson Models)

If you’re confused as to whether you’ll see Jinkx Monsoon or some other drag iteration, Hoffer says that Ms. Kitty Witless is a branch of Jinkx Monsoon, who he considers “the base of my drag tree.” Hoffer says, “Jinkx is the only one who is a drag queen. Kitty is a woman. She has one hairstyle and a wardrobe. And that’s the truth for all my sub characters.”

Hoffer sees Jinkx Monsoon as an unlimited creative outlet. “I let her do whatever she wants. Sometimes I do antiquated numbers. Sometimes I do hip-hop or rap. [Jinkx] acts and sings. I feel like I came to life as an artist when I started fully investing myself into Jinkx.” This creative empowerment has been noticed beyond the world of drag. Hoffer recently starred in 5th Avenue Theatre’s concert production of Hairspray as Velma von Tussle. He’s got his eye on the prize for other heavy-hitting roles — including those not in drag — such as Prince Herbert in Spamalot and Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon. And watch out Neil Patrick Harris, Jinkx is ready to step into your heels after you’re worn out from the forthcoming revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Hoffer says that, “Broadway has always been the Emerald City on my yellow brick road. I would have taken a Broadway role over TV, but now that I’ve done it, I love television, too, and am pitching ideas for some TV shows.” But he’s quick to say, “ One isn’t more important than the other. I have an open mind and am excited to do any of it.”

Jinkx Monsoon (photo: Jose A. Guzman)

Jinkx Monsoon (photo: Jose A. Guzman)

Hoffer says, “It’s the happiest I’ve ever been, even though I’m totally exhausted. Drag is an art form. With every art form — to be outstanding in your field — you need to be willing to change and adapt. When you think you’ve reached the point where you think you’re done developing, you’re done. A true artist never gets to that point.” Beyond the physical stamina of the show itself (The Vaudevillians is approximately 75 minutes with no intermission and plenty of high kicks and high notes), the physical transformation into Kitty Witless takes two hours.

But Hoffer is enjoying every tucked moment. “As an actor, you’re constantly told how it’s never going to happen, how you have to work your ass off, get used to rejection, and accept that one in ten might make it. So to have this kind of success and believe my dreams are plausible and more is on the way is surreal. I’m ecstatic. Even though it’s a lot of hard work, it’s so worth it.”

CLICK HERE for Part I of The Broadway Blog’s interview with Jerick Hoffer, which reveals the inspiration for Jinkx Monsoon and at one point he believed he could take the crown on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Want more Jinkx Monsoon?

Where will The Vaudevillians appear next?

Interview: Monsoon Season, Jinkx Takes Manhattan, Part I

August 7th, 2013 Comments off

The Broadway Blog’s editor Matthew Wexler sits down with Jerick Hoffer (aka Jinkx Monsoon) to discuss Darkwing DuckRuPaul’s Drag Race, and what’s next for this rising star. 

Jinkx Monsoon (photo: Tim Harmon)

Jinkx Monsoon (photo: Tim Harmon)

Jinkx Monsoon, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season five, has blown into New York City with the power of a superstorm. But instead of mass destruction, this alter ego of actor Jerick Hoffer arrives at the epicenter of an effervescent cabaret act called The Vaudevillians co-starring Major Scales (aka Richard Andriessen).

The Broaday Blog caught up with Hoffer in the lobby of the Out Hotel before another two-performance evening at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, where we talked about his creative inspiration and what’s ahead for this diva-in-the-making.

Hoffer has spoken openly about the challenges of growing up in Portland, Oregon with a young mother and turning to movies and television as an escape. One of his earliest inspirations was Darkwing Duck, a syndicated cartoon by Disney that Hoffer describes as “a crime fighting duck with a witch girlfriend (Morgana McCawber) — a duck version of Elvira. God, how I loved that duck lady.”

Later inspired by the real Elvira and Morticia Addams, Hoffer would run home from school and don a red afghan and saw his first glimpses of drag on daytime talk shows like The Ricki Lake Show and The Sally Jessy Raphael Show. And there was no turning back.

Jerick Hoffer

Jerick Hoffer

While studying theater at Cornish College of the Arts, Hoffer put drag on the back burner and instead concentrated on the core curriculum of Shakespeare, musical theater and Commedia dell’arte. When summer came, he’d be back in lipstick and leggings to earn a living. Upon graduation, Hoffer stayed in Seattle and continued to cultivate his drag persona of Jinkx Monsoon, but it was only this past season that he felt ready to audition.

“If you thought they were giving me a hard time then about styling and grooming, you should have seen me the year before,” says Hoffer. “I always wanted to focus on the performative aspects. My character was decidedly tacky and disheveled and I was 100 percent committed to telling it that way. RuPaul taught me that I can still be true to that but be the most glamorous version of tacky.

While Hoffer’s friends thought he could win, he wasn’t convinced that a comedy actor could take the title, so he entered the competition with the goal of making the top five, focusing on individual challenges. He had accomplished what he had set out to do, having had the opportunity to sing and act on the show and portraying one of his favorite characters, Little Edie from Grey Gardens. Then he met his drag muse Dave, a U.S. military veteran living with HIV, for the “Super Troopers” episode.

One of the most compelling episodes of the season, it was obvious that something shifted in Hoffer during this episode as he and Dave created a draglicious spectacle that honored and embraced the pair’s new found friendship.

Jinkx Monsoon (photo: Tim Harmon)

Jinkx Monsoon (photo: Tim Harmon)

“I was raised to be nice to people. A lot of people in my family suffered with various illnesses and I was taught to be respectful to older people and put that before selfish needs,” says with no pretense. “Growing up in Portland, I spent my teen years at a youth recreation center and met a lot of people with HIV/AIDS. It was easy to have that interaction [with Dave]. It wasn’t about overcoming the obstacles. To try to force him or make him do something beyond his capabilities didn’t make sense. He’s done so much in his lifetime for the gay rights movement. He’s been around for a while – everything you can think of, he’s been through.” And with that in mind, Jinkx Monsoon was going to settle for nothing less than the crown.

Tune in tomorrow for Hoffer’s inspiration to create The Vaudevillians, a rollicking cabaret act currently playing to sold-out houses at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York City.