Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: Don't Make Me Sing

by Michael Block

Give a queen a stage, a pianist with a wealth of showtunes in his fingers, and a crowd of boozy patrons the power to request songs and you get Jinkx Sings Everything, an evening of unplanned music and stories. The solo extravaganza from Jinkx Monsoon, RuPaul's Drag Race season 5 winner, allows the comedy queen with a voice like no other guidesthe crowd through Broadway classics on demand. With nothing rehearsed, Jinkx Sings Everything is flat out fun, laughs, and a good time.
Presented at the infamous Laurie Beechman Theatre, Jinkx Monsoon collaborates with "Broadway Sessions" pianist Joshua Stephen Kartas to sing a canon of fan requested showtunes. With an element of anything could happen, Jinkx reminds the crowd just why she is one of the show's strongest performers. While she does get the final say on suggestions, and even suggests numbers from her previous canon of theatrical roles, Jinkx is game for even that early non-showtune request. Rather than nerves and a throat tickle bring her down, Jinkx powers through the evening singing everything from Chicago’s “All That Jazz”, where we learn Renee Zellweger inspired her to do drag, to a medley from Cabaret, and ending the night on a high with “The Origin of Love” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. With so many fans in attendance, one lucky boy, Desmond the youngest Jinkx fan, got plucked from the crowd to sit and unintentionally upstate as his request, “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.”
Jinkx Sings Everything is bound to make a triumphant return. It’s simple and fun. But a little structure polish could be to the evening’s benefit. While it would eliminate the scream-and-interact portion of the night, having the audience fill out a sheet preshow would allow a smoother night by maintaining the request feel. Either, Jinkx Monsoon can do anything and her fans will be loyally by her side. That’s what happens when you have talent.