BWW Interviews: JINKX MONSOON Takes Over the Holidays in Seattle!

Jinkx Monsoon.
Photo by Jennie Lee, Courtesy Jinkx Monsoon.

It seems everything is coming up Jinkx lately. What with winning "RuPaul's Drag Race", a sold out run of his "Vaudevillians" show in New York, and his award winning performance of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" here in Seattle (click here for my review of last January's production), Jerick Hoffer (a.k.a. Jinkx Monsoon) has a lot to crow about. And now with three upcoming shows in December (including a remount of the aforementioned "Hedwig"), it seems Jinkx is taking over the Holidays as well. I recently had a conversation with Jerick in between his many rehearsals to see how his whirlwind life has been going since the win.

You've had a terrific year with winning RuPaul's Drag Race and your shows. Tell us what it's been like.

It's been a surreal dream come true. RuPaul's Drag Race seemed like a pipe dream two years ago, and now it's my reality. Ever since I was a little kid, I've always wanted to be a performer in New York City, and now that's a reality too. So I'm starting to feel like the sky is the limit.

I saw a picture where upcoming Broadway "Hedwig", Neil Patrick Harris, and John Cameron Mitchell, the original Hedwig, both came to see your show in New York. How was that?

Nerve-wracking once I realized who they were, sitting in the center of the audience. It was terribly exciting to perform my original show and comedy for Neil and John, as well as Michael Mayer (the Director of Neil's "Hedwig" run), and Stephen Trask (the composer of the score). They were all super gracious and wonderful to have at our show.

"Homo for the Holidays" - JiJi Lee

And now you're back in Seattle with three different shows over the holidays? Tell us about those.

" Unwrapped" is a new original show by Major Scales and myself, featuring holiday classics, contemporary holiday jingles, and some original music by Major, all contributing to a boozy jaded look at the holiday season. Then there's "Homo For The Holidays", produced by Delourue Presents, a tongue in cheek spoof of the holiday TV pageant, starring some of Seattle's finest queer talent. And then there's the encore performance of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" at the historic Moore Theater. I will also be performing a limited run of "Unwrapped" in New York City from Dec 7th - 10th at The Laurie Beechman Theater.

What was your first drag role?

My first drag role was the character Widow Simone in the ballet "La Fille Mal Gardee". She's a crazy social climbing woman trying to marry off her daughter to the wealthy town idiot. And in the middle of the show, she gets to perform a clog dance. I loved it.

"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" - Christopher Nelson
Courtesy Balagan Theatre / Seattle Theatre Group

You've been all over town in so many roles, more than just drag, with roles at Seattle Shakespeare Company and "Spring Awakening" at Balagan. Which do you prefer, drag or non-drag roles?

I've always preferred drag roles, because typically I get better costumes and I've always felt more connected with the female characters in my favorite shows than most of the male characters. But every once in a while a non drag role comes along like Moritz in "Spring Awakening" or Jack in "Into The Woods", which are roles I am content to play even if they are not in high heels.

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Jay Irwin Born and raised in Seattle, WA, Jay has been a theater geek for years. He attends as many shows as he can around the country and loves taking in new exciting works.

Instituting a new three letter rating system for my reviews for 2014. They'll range from best to worst as WOW (A can’t miss), YAY (Too damn good), MEH+ (Good, with some great things going for it), MEH (Just OK), NAH (You can miss this one) and WTF (I think you can figure out my complex code there).

Jay is also an actor in the local Seattle scene. Follow me on Twitter @SeattleBdwyGeek

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