EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: CRYSTAL RASMUSSEN PRESENTS THE BIBLE 2, Underbelly
Crystal Rasmussen is the drag alter ego of Tom Rasmussen. Having released their memoir "Diary of a Drag Queen" earlier this year, Crystal Rasmussen presents The Bible 2 (Plus a Cure for Shame, Violence, Betrayal and Athlete's Foot) Live! is the stage accompaniment of that book.
This show intertwines some of Crystal's backstory (born in Russia in 1912 and raised by Wolves) with Tom's own real-life anecdotes. The timeline chops and changes and it isn't always clear who is telling which part of the story.
There's a lot of great material in there but the execution is a little messy. Emotional pieces about exploring queer identity and violence against the queer community are almost drowned out by the fabricated tales of a love affair with Rasputin.
The tone in the room didn't feel quite right for this show at times. It's theatrical and swings from fun pop song performances to touching on issues of sexual consent. I suspect the weekend audience was looking for non-stop laughs and songs and there were a few inappropriate giggles at some serious material.
The overall theme of the show is living a life without shame and that comes across well. The vocals are stunning and the majority of the material is poetic and beautifully written. While Crystal is a force to be reckoned with, it feels as though some of their story distracts from the real heart of the show.
Photo credit: Thurstan