RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni and season 5 winner, Jinkx Monsoon, returns to the UK for another string of fabulous shows. This time, the size of her audience has upgraded from the downstairs cabaret space at the Soho Theatre to the main house at Leicester Square Theatre. It’s been half a decade since the diva won the growingly-famous reality television show and Monsoon continues to show that she’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Previously, Monsoon has gifted us with Christmas Spectacular shows and on numerous occasions, toured the UK and the rest of the world with her hit cabaret, The Vaudevillians. She is a smart, eclectic, powerful and professional performer – which makes her current show all the more interesting. Unlike her past shows, Jinkx Sings Everything is an off-the-cuff celebration of musical theatre and (“more importantly”) Jinkx Monsoon herself. There is no script at all and the majority of the show is improvised fitting around songs suggested from the audience – a handful of songs are shouted out for Monsoon to choose from and then she and her pianist, the talented Joshua Stephen Kartes perform them. An extremely simple structure that is thoroughly entertaining for its one-act length. Though with this set up comes mess ups and Monsoon embraces every single one making the night even more enjoyable. Words will be fluffed, she talks on many different tangents and she’ll just do what she wants because “It’s my show!” and rightly so. This show gives an audience what they want in a cabaret – it’s just a bit of fun!
Monsoon flourishes best when addressing her audience – you can tell she loves the interaction. She’s warm (even when she’s cutting), funny and a damn good drag queen. Her singing voice is one that any cabaret diva would envy. Highlight suggestions were her drag spin on Sondheim’s ‘The Ladies Who Lunch’, ‘Rose’s Turn’ and Radiohead’s ‘Creep’. Throughout the night, she proved to be a very versatile singer, even though she’s a sucker for a long belt note. If there isn’t one in the song – there definitely will be in her version! Her Judy Garland impression near the end of the show is extremely impressive.
The song suggestions were very demanding in terms of big, brassy Broadway numbers but Monsoon didn’t shy away from any of that – Leicester Square Theatre may even not need to mic her up next time!
Monsoon is an intelligent performer and with an improvised show comes restrictions to what you can give your audience. Jinkx Sings Everything is a different show compared to her previous ones but equally as rewarding. It also encourages audiences to come back again in the same run because “no show is the same”. I assume many will return. I know the UK Cabaret scene is welcoming Jinkx back with open arms – it’s Monsoon Season once again!
Review by Elliott Jordan
RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon returns with an evening of Broadway showstoppers chosen by the audience nightly.
An avid Broadway enthusiast Jinkx loves nothing more than belting out a show stopper. And that’s exactly what she plans on doing! In JINKX SINGS EVERYTHING!, the audience will be able to suggest and request their favourite Broadway songs to be performed on-the-spot by this boozy chanteuse.
Her improv skills and memory will be put to the test as she stumbles her way through this unforgettable show. No two performances will be the same!
JINKX SINGS EVERYTHING! AT THE LEICESTER SQUARE THEATRE
Tue 24 – Sat 28 Oct 2017, 9.15pm
Leicester Square Theatre