BWW Review: DeLouRue's Exuberant Extravaganza HOMO FOR THE HOLIDAYS A Must See at Oddfellows
"It's the most wonderful time to be queer," sings BenDeLaCreme, drag queen of both local and international fame (you may remember her from RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6 [and now Drag Race All Stars 3!]). Silly as that parody lyric may be, for many, seeing "Homo for the Holidays" makes this season truly the most wonderful time of the year. Celebrating its tenth year, DeLouRue's "Homo for the Holidays" is back and better than ever.
It's a holiday-themed variety show, incorporating burlesque, sketch comedy, song parodies, dance, puppets, and an endless supply of sexual innuendos. They even manage to create a pretty cohesive narrative arc, one where fallen angel Angie Lee (played by Kitten LaRue) turns to the House of DeLaCreme to get her wings.
But it's a group of drag queens, so, naturally, they're too busy doing their own thing to worry about Angie Lee. Especially the Sugar Plum Fairy (played by Waxie Moon), a narcissistic Seattlelite (with rather "basic" taste) sporting a big purple tutu and bows in their mutton chops.
What's really unique about this show is that it's one of the few performances I've ever seen that's able to perfectly combine comedy and sex appeal. To be not only equally funny and sexy but simultaneously funny and sexy is a true anomaly, and "Homo for the Holidays" accomplishes this contradiction time and time again. For example, the life size Cookie (played by the very buff and tan Faggedy Randy), who dons only a light brown thong and three gumdrop buttons, is horny for a glass of milk BenDeLaCreme strictly forbids Cookie from touching. That milk is for Santa. But Cookie cannot help himself: one dip of the finger in the glass, and Cookie's face melts with pure ecstasy. One thing leads to another and Cookie is naked, pouring the milk down their bare butt to the tune of Prince's "Cream". That's funny! ...and hot.
Similarly, the aptly named The One and Only Inga, who plays Candy, is instructed to hang the stockings with care. Their approach to this task is to seductively remove their own stockings to the tune of Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy". Picture it: a burlesque routine to that hoity-toity Russian ballet. Combined with interspersed visual gags, The One and Only Inga balances seduction and comedy effortlessly.
This ten-year-old show is worth going back year after year because it's always evolving. The framework stays more or less the same, but the content that would be dated from the previous year gets scrapped, replaced with content more relevant to present-day pop culture. This makes the production feel fresh, fleeting, and intimate, knowing that songs referencing fidget spinners and future participation in RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 3 will be a thing of the past by next December.
But it's not all layers and layers of camp--DeLouRou always incorporates sincerity and moments of vulnerability into their shows. Yes, a lot of the liberally-minded content panders to the audience going to see a drag show, but making bold, political statements no matter who's in the audience is always risky.
No drag performer has one talent to showcase: at the very least, everyone involved is a talented illusionist, but Cherdonna Shinatra, for example, is a fabulous comedian and dancer. Danny Kam as Dreidl Rosenbear and Rebecca M. Davis as Menora Lesowitz are tremendous singers as well as comedians. Lou Henry Hoover is a fabulous illusionist and mime. Kitten LaRue's tremendous at burlesque and comedy. Et cetera.
"Homo for the Holidays" is like a talent show where all the contestants are too talented to choose a winner. And each performance showcases not one talent, but a number of them. Seriously, this show is not to be missed, and many of the shows are sold out already. Audiences leave this show happy, horny, and full of love. For this smorgasbord, I give "Homo for the Holidays" an ectatic A. Loved it, loved it, loved it!
DeLouRue's "Homo for the Holidays" performs at Oddfellows through December 30, 2017. For tickets and information, visit them online at http://homofortheholidays.strangertickets.com/.
*Update 12/14/17: The URL in the last paragraph has been changed to the correct website URL.