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BWW Review: RETURN OF THE JINKX & DELA HOLIDAY SHOW, LIVE! at Town Hall by Guest Reviewers Michael Kaplan Nolan and Will Nolan

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A father and son team of guest reviewers have nothing but praise for DeLa and Jinkx.

BWW Review: RETURN OF THE JINKX & DELA HOLIDAY SHOW, LIVE! at Town Hall by Guest Reviewers Michael Kaplan Nolan and Will Nolan This holiday season we at Broadway World Cabaret have invited artists from the club and concert community to join us in reporting on the happenings around town. Artists with a particular focus in their own work will be joining us to give our readers their take on shows for which they have a special interest. Their one and only instruction from our editorial desk was: "This is not a critique, it is a review - go and enjoy the show and report back on what you saw." The resulting stories are planned as an in-depth, fun, and relatable look into the various corridors of the club and concert art form, from the people who, daily, walk those corridors. We hope you enjoy these special articles and we wish you the happiest of holidays. --Stephen Mosher, Editor, Broadway World Cabaret

Christmas Goes on Trial in the Brilliant Spectacle

"Return of the Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, LIVE!" at NYC's Town Hall

Co-Starring and Co-Written by BenDeLaCreme & Jinkx Monsoon
Produced and Directed by BenDeLaCreme

BWW Review: RETURN OF THE JINKX & DELA HOLIDAY SHOW, LIVE! at Town Hall by Guest Reviewers Michael Kaplan Nolan and Will Nolan Most holiday shows celebrate the season with affection, nostalgia, and a certain coziness that flows from the stage into the audience like a mug of hot chocolate. But from the very opening of drag legends Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme's new holiday spectacular (the aptly named "Return of the Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, LIVE!") we could tell this wasn't your grandma's holiday drag show. This hot chocolate was spiked.

Probably the only father and son duo at this packed show at NYC's legendary Town Hall - though not the only daddy (wink emoji) - we jumped at the chance to check out two of our favorite drag queens together on stage for what has become a holiday tradition for folks who need a healthy dose of camp and crudeness with their Christmas cheer. We won't claim to be the ultimate RuPaul's Drag Race fans, but Will has been watching since Season 1 and Michael started watching when his dads decided he was old enough to appreciate the thrill of a lip sync for your life, and the precision needed to achieve a successful tuck. He knows the stats of every queen who has entered the workroom, making his two dads proud.

BWW Review: RETURN OF THE JINKX & DELA HOLIDAY SHOW, LIVE! at Town Hall by Guest Reviewers Michael Kaplan Nolan and Will Nolan In one cliché, overused word, the show was fabulous. Jinkx Monsoon, winner of Season 5 of RuPaul's Drag Race, and real-life BFF BenDeLaCreme, from Season 6 and All-Stars Season 3, bring a level of talent that goes far beyond what we saw on TV during their respective seasons. After an evening LIVE with these powerhouse talents, you see why Jinkx won her season and why DeLa holds the record for the most challenge wins of any queen in Drag Race herstory.

Nestled in our seats with a giddy audience bedazzled in the kind of sparkly holiday attire our community slays this time of year, the show opened with a video message setting the tone for the night: our beloved queens have been silenced by the pandemic for two years and are finally ready to make their return to the global stage, bringing Christmas joy to the world. But the holidays are different this year - everything is different this year - and Jinkx and DeLa must come to terms with the fact that what's worked in the past isn't going to work this year. 2020 was a year of "gloom, doom, and zoom" as DeLa puts it. A 'global oopsie daisy" that we still haven't recovered from.

BWW Review: RETURN OF THE JINKX & DELA HOLIDAY SHOW, LIVE! at Town Hall by Guest Reviewers Michael Kaplan Nolan and Will Nolan Sounds heavy, right? While that may be at the heart of the evening's message, the journey these master comedians take us on is full of nonstop laughs and enough jokes about sex to, as Jinkx would say, fill Santa's sack multiple times! From song parodies about WASPs to a reimagining of the Lizzo/Cardi B hit "Rumors" that includes the baby Jesus dancing with adult Jesus as DeLa and Jinkx play an angel and devil, the show feels incredibly relevant, as if these queens have written it just for us.

As the 'terminally delightful' DeLa struggles to find her holiday spirit since lockdown, Jinkx argues that the Christmas that DeLa loves so much was stolen from Pagans and the gays as part of a capitalistic plot. Jinkx wants to cancel Santa, DeLa wants joy back. This creates our dramatic tension for the evening, and intermission comes, leaving you to wonder if this dynamic duo will stay together. Spoiler alert: They do. But not without hilarious attempts at solo acts that include DeLa performing with a peppermint puppet named Peppy who just makes mint puns, and Jinkx unraveling during a genius rendition of "O Holy Night" that includes an audience member, confused backup dancers, and an unauthorized karaoke track.

BWW Review: RETURN OF THE JINKX & DELA HOLIDAY SHOW, LIVE! at Town Hall by Guest Reviewers Michael Kaplan Nolan and Will Nolan The audience buzzed at intermission and we couldn't stop grinning. We appreciated that this wasn't a night just about Jinkx and DeLa's time on RuPaul's Drag Race. This is a scripted holiday musical that showcases these unique talents, alongside gorgeously diverse backup dancers, outrageous slide shows, and a reoccurring video of our queens in a bunker from last December, celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas. And the costumes? Blown away. Little did we know what Act 2 had in store. As DeLa said during one of her onstage wardrobe reveals, "You have to applaud when a drag queen changes her costume. It's like 70% of our skillset."

Act 2 jumps right in with the feud between friends taking centerstage. Jinkx and DeLa have perfect comic timing, plain and simple. Both jumbled lines at one point, which proved to be some of the funniest parts of the evening. Each queen has her moments alone on stage, and when they come together, you see the pure love and affection they have for each other as characters and artists. P.S. Jinkx is a legit singer with incredible range, even when she's singing about being a drunk nymphomaniac.

The core message, when the show winds down, is that the magic, the light of the season is in each of us. And this year, in particular, we need to be kind to each other and meet each other where we are.

Two and a half hours is long for audiences these days, especially after a pandemic that robbed many of us of our attention spans. Yet the night never dragged (no pun intended) and, really, is there any such thing as too much Jinkx and DeLa? The answer is NEVER. For anyone looking for a less traditional, yet spectacularly entertaining kickoff to the holiday season, you can't beat the spectacle that is "Return of the Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, LIVE!" at NYC's Town Hall.

Catch the tour through the end of the year at a city near you and mark your calendar for 2022's show! Visit jinkxanddela.com.

Visit the Town Hall Calendar HERE.

All photos of BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon by JiJi Lee.

BWW Review: RETURN OF THE JINKX & DELA HOLIDAY SHOW, LIVE! at Town Hall by Guest Reviewers Michael Kaplan Nolan and Will Nolan Michael Kaplan-Nolan is a 10th grader in NYC. An aspiring interior and fashion designer, Michael considers himself a Drag Race expert having watched the show religiously since his parents first allowed him to in 4th grade.

BWW Review: RETURN OF THE JINKX & DELA HOLIDAY SHOW, LIVE! at Town Hall by Guest Reviewers Michael Kaplan Nolan and Will Nolan Will Nolan is a writer/performer currently in residence at The Green Room 42, playing Leola, a senior citizen, redneck lesbian who believes in the power of Kelly Clarkson and casseroles to heal the world. Winner of the 2020 BroadwayWorld Cabaret Award for Best Spoken Word - and a nominee again this year! - you can catch Leola's monthly show LEOLA'S LADY LAND LOUNGE featuring performances with some of the hottest acts in theatre and cabaret at the Green Room. Plus, there's free candy. Learn more by visiting leolaslandland.com or following Leola on social media at @leolasladyland.


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