Monday, March 27, 2017

Review: This is the Moment for Kennedy Davenport

By Michael Block

Once upon a time on RuPaul's Drag Race season 7, Kennedy Davenport roared her way to victory by eliminating fan goddess Katya in an epic lip sync. Based on the ridiculous challenges and "the edit", losing Katya was devastating simply because we watched more of her story than Kennedy's. We didn't see her in her prime. But boy did she make up for it in The Gospel According to...Kennedy Davenport.
photo by Michael Block
Turning the lounge vibe of the Laurie Beechman into a house of worship, Kennedy Davenport takes you to church. A celebration of classic tunes and personal stories, assisted by pianists to the Drag Stars Christopher Hamblin, Kennedy Davenport makes a wondrous New York City solo cabaret debut. Beginning the night with Hamblin tickling the ivories with "Try to Remember" leading into the Babs standard "The Way We Were," this was one of those nights where you should expect the unexpected. Kennedy recounts the times prior to her appearance on Drag Race in a very religious world while exploring the list of substance abuse and depression, Kennedy is eager to share and get these stories off her chest. She dove deep to tell her personal experiences, offering her emotions to beautifully take over. With such weighty material, the show does get a reprieve from the ballad heavy score with "Tooty Fruity", an ode to her Snatch Game character Little Richard. For someone who experienced such hardships, Kennedy ensured a message of hope filled the room. Even as she rambled on, motivation was at the forefront. Capping off the night, Jekyll and Hyde's "This is the Moment" seemed like an odd pick but it made complete sense in context. The message within is fitting. From a structure perspective, the piece had a good flow, keeping things chronological. As a performer, Kennedy Davenport is a pageant queen and the epitome of diva. Just look at that stunner of a dress that was too hot for daytime.
We may not have seen her dance, but she made up for it through story and song. It's likely that the Beechman can't handle her moves. No matter what, The Gospel According to…Kennedy Davenport was spectacular. This is just another example of a Drag Race queen getting to showcase the rest of herself in an intimate setting. Beg Kennedy Davenport for a return engagement.