Embarking on a mammoth 22 date tour, Jinkx Monsoon, winner of Season 5 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race has once again teamed up with regular collaborator Major Scales to bring us A Ginger Snapped, an introspective look at Jinkx’s experiences as a drag star, the joys of making it past the big 3-0 and a showcase for Monsoon and Scales’ new album.
I’m sure many people would agree that Monsoon is a little off the beaten track in terms of drag performance and through charm, distinctive style, and being more than a bit of a sweetheart, won the hearts of many – myself included.
As such, I admit to not being entirely sure what to expect from this musical mental breakdown but whatever expectations I had, a chaise longue centre-stage didn’t feature among them. Along with electric piano, microphones and a small table this was the entire of the setting for the performance but with such big personalities, what more could you need?
The evening was introduced by Major Scales, armed with a bottle of ‘vodka’ -setting the mood very well – and the warning that Jinkx might be in a volatile mood and then to much cheering and applause, Jinkx took to the stage.
What followed from there was a beautifully bizarre mix. Songs were a key feature, of course, as was the good-natured ribbing of the audience and the odd throwing of shade at fellow drag stars (no doubt with their full knowledge and approval) but interspersed into this was a tongue-in-cheek narrative of psychoanalysis that made an effective vehicle for moving the show along.
In true drag style, the fourth wall was more of a revolving door being built, broken and rebuilt as required and while a little confusing at times, the more traditional narrative sections made those moments where we were directly addressed, or sprayed with the ’vodka’, more effective and poignant.
Of course, these narrative elements were exaggerated and played for fun and both artists seemed to take joy in giving it their all. Musically, the show was seamless with the vocals, in particular, being flawless and although the slight country vibe underlying many of the songs wasn’t my usual go-to, there were some songs I particularly liked with Cartoons and Vodka being a definite personal favourite.
With continuity between the props, the visual effects on the backdrop and the song lyrics, The Ginger Snapped is a well thought out, carefully designed production that is engaging and at times hilarious. There’s no surprise that there were emphatic calls for an encore when the time came. A night out that I know I’ll remember for a long time to come, A Ginger Snapped is drag but possibly not quite as you know it.
Review by Damien Russell
Jinkx Monsoon and lyrical genius Major Scales return to showcase new music from their latest album The Ginger Snapped… however Jinkx worries that her best years are behind her. In order to avoid a breakdown of diva proportions Major must act as both pianist and therapist to the Manic Miss Monsoon. Music and mental health collide in this witty, biting look at the dark side of Drag fame.
Jinkx Monsoon is the alter ego of Jerick Hoffer, who graduated with a degree in theatrical performance from Cornish College in Seattle. With twelve years’ experience on stage, Hoffer is a seasoned Portland-born entertainer who has captured the attention of his native northwest region.
14 November 2018 – 09 April 2019
JINKX MONSOON & MAJOR SCALES: THE GINGER SNAPPED