Review: "Jinkx Sings Everything" at the Leicester Square Theatre
Ok, so I don’t want to brag, but Jinkx Monsoon spat on me…like, actually spat on me. Try not to be too jealous.
For those of you who have never heard of Jinkx Monsoon – first of all, shame on you, and second of all, allow me to explain why being baptised with her saliva was such a lifetime moment for me. Jinkx Monsoon swept to fame after competing in Ru Paul’s Drag Race (read: the greatest show of all time). Funny, warm, and talented Jinkx ended up winning Season 5.
As you can tell, the bar was set pretty high – but she did not disappoint. AND, I am happy to report that even a non-RPDR fan (if such people really exist) would have had a hoot at this show.
Jinkx Monsoon is one of the alter egos of Seattle-based Jerick Hoffer. Their journey with drag began age 15 and led to the creation of Jinkx, whose surname is pinched from Ab Fab’s Edie Monsoon, and whose personality reflects the influences of her creator, including Lucille Ball, Sarah Silverman, and Hoffer’s own mother. A true Broadway baby, Hoffer has played all your favourite roles, from Angel in RENT to Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray and this show gives you the chance to sample those talents in person.
The format of the show is simple. Jinkx appears effervescently on stage and spends the next hour or having the audience scream their favourite musical numbers at her until she hears one she knows and then - you are in for a treat. She sings ‘em, accompanied by the rather wonderful Joshua Stephen Kartes on piano.
First things first – her voice is fantastic. To say every note is spot on… would be inaccurate, but the emotion and soul of the songs is there in spades - and when it came to belting it out, wow. Seriously wow. (It was during one of these beltings that I got sprinkled with the aforementioned spit of gold. Water off a duck’s face.)
Her performance included “Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy (complete with opening monologue), Defying Gravity from Wicked and “One Day More” from Les Mis… where she sang all nine parts. And the whole lot was peppered with anecdotes from her life and comments about fellow Drag Race alumni.
I think a favourite bit for everyone was when she elongated herself over the front row to serenade a man in the second… and then was hoisted back again…all while singing. My personal highlight, however, was when she sang “On my own” while standing right in front of me. Nearly gave myself a hernia by straining so hard for her to notice me and ask me for MY request (which would have been Fine Fine Line from Avenue Q, or Somewhere That’s Green from Little Shop of Horrors - thanks for asking) – I was wearing pink sequins, goddamit, she could hardly have missed me!
Still, it wasn’t to be – and I came away with no hard feelings, because I had a rollicking great time. If you’re looking to experience Monsoon season, you may be too late to hear her sing everything BUT you can hear her sing some things! Jinkx’s show The Vaudevillians is touring the UK until the 9th December and you can find tickets here.