Wigstock is back after a mere 17 years on hiatus. And what a return it was. The heels were high, the lips and lashes were luscious, and the hair was perfect.
The real feel was 99° — some girls’ makeup might’ve melted right off their faces, but not these queens. This was Wigstock — the skies were blue, the cocktails were cold, the East River sloshed in the background; and as organizer Lady Bunny used to say, “This beautiful day just proves that Mother Nature is most definitely a drag queen!”
Some 17 years after the last Wigstock, Bunny, alongside producers Neil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka reinvented the wheel with eight hours of some of the best performers queer entertainment has to offer.
Sensational duos like Lina Bradford and Candis Cayne flew in from the Left Coast for a lip-sync battle royale, as did such superstar queens as Bianca del Rio, who held a drag dance contest between audience members she cordially dubbed “Black,” “Dyke” and “Jew.” (Jew won.)
Newly-minted Broadway sensation Alex Newell belted beyond belief with a performance of “Aquarius,” comedian Drew Droege resurrected Chloe Sevigny to share some choice cocktails (“a clipped bitch, neat”), and Michael Lynch brought the crowd to a hush with a magnetic recitation of a monologue from “Street Theater” by Doric Wilson.
P-Town was well represented through appearances from Varla Jean Merman, who shared how her mother’s advice differed from Doris Day’s in a rendition of “Que Sera Sera” (“how the hell would I know?? I’m your mother, not a God-damned psychic — Get me a beer!”), Dina Martina and Liza Lott (among others), and original Wigstock performers Joey Arias and Lypsinka wowed the crowd with gorgeous, artistic showcases of truly legendary talent and artistry.
But perhaps most importantly, as is often the case with events of this LGBTQ historical importance, there was no ego, no catfighting, and only theatrical narcissism — we were all there, performers and patrons alike, to come together in the great spirit of drag tradition that has lifted our community up through its darkest hours and created some of its highest peaks of love, light and joy.
I can only hope this kicks off another 17-year cycle (at minimum) of celebrating the best, brightest and brashest our community has to offer.
Last modified: September 4, 2018