"Out of this World"
Three feet of feathered headdress on an opera-singing queen, six arms on an intergalactic goddess and eight inches of flaccid phallus on a Napoleonic general: Those were just a few of the elements onstage during Glamazonia: The Theatrical Experience, presented Sept. 20-22 at Wall Street Nightclub.
The nearly two-hour spectacle was a near-perfect feat for Helena Troy, Glamazonia’s executive producer and leader of the fashion haus/drag family. The storyline was simple: A young space traveler (Nikki Stone), crash lands on a strange planet with a robot who’s “Programmed for navigation and sex. And I’m done navigatin’” (Diamond Hunter). The pair sets out to explore the planet, encountering twerking robot henchmen, electric hustlin’ aliens, a Cowardly-Lion-Thundercat-Wookie Beast (Ashley O’Shea), and a cast of other princesses, pageant queens and no-gooders.
Glamazonia was more two-act play than traditional drag show, with professional-grade video interstitials, special effects, head-to-toe makeup, choreography and structured narrative.
And, at its best, it struck a tone that balanced tongue-in-cheek campiness with smoldering, over-sexed, ’70s-style retro raunchiness. There were slow-burn, quiet-storm numbers, fast-paced hip-hop moments, old-school soul and disco mash-ups (James Brown’s “Sex Machine”!), and new-school remixes of Bjork and Katy Perry. Troy showed what real gravitas looks like as the evil queen, while O’Shea proved that she’s a comedy queen who also can dance with the best of ’em. Mary Nolan provided a stalwart villain as the General, while Sabrina Heart provided the most kinetic moment of the show, dancing in a head-to-toe lavender cat-suit while her beehive defied gravity. Nikole Trader, in one of the best reveals in recent drag memory, arrived onstage with gold lamé wings and four extra arms. (From the looks of the costume design as a whole, the Glamazons can now add theatrical costume witchcraft, wizardry and metallurgy to their resumés).
Ultimately, Glamazonia showed the Glamazons at their height of their creativity and technical skill, a jewel in the troupe’s crown and an example of what a few boys in dresses and wigs can accomplish when they push actors, dancers, queens and audiences out of their comfort zones. What they accomplished on that stage at Wall Street was exceptional—at moments sensational—and a benchmark for the Glamazons who have officially arrived.