Sunday, September 17, 2017

Review: Boom, Pow, Slay

By Michael Block

It's pretty safe to say that every child at one point dreamed of being a superhero. Whether your allegiance was to the D.C. or Marvel universe, the characters from the page and screen have played a huge part in our pop culture iconography. Soaring into the Laurie Beechman, four of New York's fiercest drag superstars fulfill every comic geek's fantasies in Sickening Superheroes.
photo by Michael Block
Ripped from the comics, the queens of Sickening Superheroes pack a one-two punch with on-point looks and near perfect performances as they pay homage to some of our favorite characters. Starring Bootsie Lefaris, Brenda Dharling, Brita Filter, and Holly Dae, the quartet slay the house down, bringing their individual super powers. An extension of the Distorted series of shows, this show is a geek's fantasy. But similarly to the others, the show is formulaic. The night begins with an exceptional group number and then leads into solo after solo after solo, desperately seeking a surprise. There is a slight reprieve with a mid-show trivia game led by Bootsie. Despite the structure, the show defines just why these four are heroic fixtures in New York nightlife. They know how to entertain with the greatest of ease. Each of their looks were recognizable, yet unique to the performer, even if cosplay took over. They each brought smart mixes that went beyond just clips of their respective characters' dialogue. It had the crowd gagging. For the most part, they took elements of their designated characters and went full force with the theme. How could you not have a weather themed Storm mix or end Jubilee's number with Katy Perry's "Firework?" But not every routine included the obvious, and that was ok too. There was no cameo from the Coasters in the Poison Ivy mix and Harley Quinn went old school rather than the newly minted and iconic Margot Robbie look. Jokingly admitting that the walls were adorned with superhero paraphernalia from Party City, the slight addition was a welcome way to help transform the cabaret space. A few push pins is just what they need.
Drag fans who cross into comic book geekdom should race over to see Sickening Superheroes. If you just have an appreciation for drag, come for the performances. For a soft opening, these cartoon heroes and villains rose to the occasion.