In the basement of West End Cafe, audiences get transported back to the 1920’s in all its glory. For the next 90 minutes we are treated to great comedy and powerful singing by Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales. These two brilliant actors star in The Vaudevillians. When you go see a drag show, Jinkx Monsoon was the last winner on Ru Paul’s Drag Race., you expect flashy costumes, campy humor, and lip-synching. Well, this show has two out of three. It’s full of comedy and the costumes are fantastic. But surprisingly, there is no lip-synching, Jinkx and Major sing everything live in true cabaret style.
The premise of the The Vaudevillians, is that these two weirdly matched lovebirds were frozen in an avalanche for the last 90 years. Now they have thawed out and are dismayed that most of today’s biggest hits were actually recorded by them. They sing new slowed down versions of songs from Madonna, Britney Spars, and Momma Mia to name a few .All the while the wile, the couple is quarreling. The premise may be far-fetched, but once this duo starts we are enthralled and no longer care about the plausibility (or not) of their story.
Most drag queens perform as themselves, getting by on being raunchy and able to lip-synch. But Ms. Monsoon proves that she is of a higher caliber. She plays Kitty Wittless, a woman starving for attention. Never once does Jinkx break character and rely on her fame to sell the story. She commits to her character like any actor would. It was a pleasant surprise. Her acting and singing chops are superb. She lets her talent,, not her notoriety, do the talking and, as a result, we are treated to a rip-roaring good time. Her amazing comedy has us rolling non-stop. Her comedy would be enough to fulfill the audience, but then she sings making her a tour de force. Her comedy is always well-played, never being too vulgar or mean. She is as gracious as she is funny.
Her counterpart, Major Scales, does his best to keep up with her. Although, it seems unfair to ask anyone to keep up with Jinkx. But together they don’t miss a beat. The Vaudevillians is definitely one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen When the Monsoon hits, run for cover because its one heck of a storm!