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Interview: Kameron Michaels Ruveals What's In Store for RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE: VEGAS REVUE

Was luck a lady for the queens of Drag Race Live?

Interview: Kameron Michaels Ruveals What's In Store for RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE: VEGAS REVUE

It's like they always say: What happens in Vegas... ends up on TV? Tonight, August 21 (8pm ET/PT), VH1 will expand the Emmy Award-winning "Drag Race" franchise with a six episode new docu-series, RuPaul's Drag Race: Vegas Revue. Cameras follow six legendary drag queens in their professional and personal journeys as they take on Las Vegas in a brand new "RuPaul's Drag Race Live!" residency.

RuPaul's Drag Race: Vegas Revue brings viewers behind the scenes of a jaw-dropping live stage show as it launches on the world famous Las Vegas strip. The series gives fans a deeper look into the lives of their favorite queens as they showcase the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent it takes to pull off groundbreaking performances in front of a live audience.

The cast includes season 11 winner Yvie Oddly, and iconic queens Asia O'Hara, Derrick Barry, Naomi Smalls, Vanessa "Vanjie" Mateo and Kameron Michaels, who checked in with BroadwayWorld ahead of the premiere to chat about what went down on the Vegas Strip!


This show is obviously different from the typical Drag Race format. In a nutshell, what should viewers expect?

We've been seeing a lot of people do new things with drag queens, like the We're Here series on HBO, which is outside of the competition/reality setting. I think it's really cool that people are getting to see more of that- all of us outside of the competition world. What you can expect is to see drag queens just being drag queens! Plus, you'll definitely get to see more of our personal lives. I think that's really cool- you know, when we film the show, we're locked in our hotel room and filming on a closed set. This is not a closed set, which means you get to see so many other aspects of our lives.

From what I understand, RuPaul's Drag Race Live, the show you performed on the Strip, was its own brand of drag show in that it was formatted like a musical... is that true?

The goal of Drag Race Live was to bring the television show to the stage. Think what they did with Legally Blonde or Beetlejuice... they've taken the movie and made it into a live musical. That's what we did with Drag Race. We took an episode, looked at each segment and turned it into a stage performance.

Would you say that this is the closest you've come to doing this style of full-length musical-type show or did you do any kind of theatre as a kid?

I grew up in a very small, conservative town in southern Tennessee. I think I probably would have done more theatre if I had grown up in a more progressive city. So this is the first time that I really got to do theatre-type performing. As a drag queen, I lip-sync and perform in my own way, but this is probably the closest I've gotten to theatre.

I know that a big challenge for Broadway performers is doing 8 shows a week and finding ways to keep it fresh and exciting. In being in one city, in one theatre every night, is that something that you found you had to overcome too?

I think if you talk to any of the girls, they'll tell you that we are so accustomed to being sleepless. Gaga said it best: it's bus, train, club, another club, bus, club. [Laughs] That's the life that we're used to. I think I can speak for most of us in saying that we were very happy to be in one place. I could get up and go to the gym or get up and make my own breakfast... in my own apartment! That in itself was such a blessing- just being able to stay in one place. I was not even worried about doing the same thing every night. I was just so happy to have a little bit of normalcy in my life that the show being the same did not bother me at all.

I just finished the latest season of Werq the World and that left me in total awe of that non-stop culture...

And I love that series because it's such a backstage view of what we do. I think this Vegas Revue show is similar, but of course with some reality TV drama mixed in too.

Interview: Kameron Michaels Ruveals What's In Store for RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE: VEGAS REVUE

What was it like being in Las Vegas for that length of time?

The cool thing about Vegas is that it's definitely a tourist town, so there are a lot of new things coming and going. Not only do you get to meet new people, but you get to see new shows coming through. We saw Christina, Mariah... it's a town that has so much going on, so it's easy to find things to do.

Were the audiences any different from what you're used to?

Yeah! I'm used to being on Werq the World, and we tour almost every continent. Those are Drag Race fans who are coming to see those shows. The challenge with The Flamingo in Las Vegas is that we are on the Strip and it's not necessarily just Drag Race fans. These are people who may not have even seen a drag queen before. We definitely saw it as an opportunity to spread drag to communities that haven't necessarily seen it before. That was a new endeavor.

What do you love the most about performing live?

I think that for lack of a better word, it's a high. Once you have been a performer for a certain period of time, you get used to that energy from the crowd. You thrive off of it. I know that a lot of us have really struggled through quarantine, because we've missed that high of being on stage. The lights, the audience, the noise... you become accustomed to it and it's something that becomes a part of who you are as an entertainer. Yes, I like performing, but it's the energy from the audience that makes me do what I do.

Do you remember your first time being on stage and realizing, "Wow, I really love this"?

I did a talent show when I was like 18 years old- I think I was still in high school. It was at a local gay bar. After the show, I came off stage and one of the legendary drag queens of the town pulled me aside was like, "You are really good at this. You should think about doing this more often." That was a really special moment for me because it was coming from someone who was so important to the gay community in the town that I grew up in. That was huge for me in the beginning.

Why do you think people need RuPaul's Drag Race: Vegas Revue right now?

I think I can speak for most of us in saying that we need a distraction! It will bring a little bit of happiness and joy. Anything that can distract us from what's going on right now would be nice. And it's an opportunity to see us in a different environment. The fans will get to see us doing things that they normally wouldn't on Drag Race. I'm gonna be happy to watch and honestly, see all the things my sisters said about me that I don't know about yet. I'm sure they said something shady!

I'm sure they did!

And I'll get to find out with the rest of you.


Tune in to VH1 on Fridays at 8pm ET/PT to watch RuPaul's Drag Race: Vegas Revue.

Interview: Kameron Michaels Ruveals What's In Store for RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE: VEGAS REVUE

TodayTix

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