This review of Jackie Beat: White Meat Or Dark? at The Laurie Beechman Theatre was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and published in Volume X, Issue 5 (2015) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!
Jackie Beat: White Meat Or Dark?
Written & Performed by Kent Fuher
The Laurie Beechman Theatre
407 West 42nd Street
New York, New York 10036
Jackie Beat will tell you many of her fans say "it's not the holidays until Jackie Beat comes to town to perform her annual Christmas show," which this year is entitled Jackie Beat: White Meat Or Dark?. She will also tell you to post on social media that this was the very best show you have ever seen and that "she is looking thinner and thinner every year." Perhaps that's because of all the "jello" she has been eating, or because of the protein facial she discovered she received after waking up naked with a headache in Bill Cosby's home (at least she didn't sleep with Charlie Sheen). Jackie has been doing Christmas shows for over 25 years so, as she says, "coming up with new Christmas material is like the opposite of my dick. It gets harder every year." She gave a hearty welcome to all the "carpet munchers, old Queens, fag hags, and cocksuckers" in the audience, and even provided an educational portion of her show during which she assured us Creme Brulee is a dessert and not the name of a bi-racial Drag Queen.
Appearing on stage wearing a beautiful Christmas dress and a white wig as broad as her shoulders (with a wrapped Christmas present perched in her hair), Jackie Beat came out ready to have fun and to engage with the audience to make them feel as if they were an essential part of the show. She had on green tights and the alternative title for the show, which she considered, was Green Legs & Ham. She asked if anyone in the audience was in finance or show business, so she could properly acknowledge those who celebrated Hanukkah. She also asked if there were any "people of color" in the audience who celebrated Kwanzaa. When two black women applauded, she blasted them for liking the phrase "people of color" but getting all bent out of shape if she switched the words around and called them "colored people" ("you'll never hear the end of it"). Jackie then sang a song explaining to white people what Kwanzaa is all about. Supposedly it is a harvest festival but you are required to say all the names of the vegetables in Swahili. Felching is not required during the family celebration but supposedly "sweet potato pie" is a favorite.
The most brilliant parody songs Jackie Beat sang were "A Gay In The Manger" (Away In A Manger involving Mary's gay first cousin), "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" (about Bill Cosby in 1993; organized and arranged for maximum impact), and "Go To Hell" (for Silver Bells). "Good Morning Starbucks" (for Good Morning Starshine was probably a bit too political instead of simply being politically incorrect but it still had its moments). Jackie Beat even brought back snippets of songs from yesteryear, such as a parody of a line from Last Christmas ("Last Christmas, I gave you the AIDS. The very next day, you gave it away!"). Jackie Beat has a very sharp mind. She is fresh and charismatic, and at her best when ad-libbing during interactions with the audience. She may have worked her ass off building her career (and swimming to where she is today while Drag Queen contestants from RuPaul's Drag Race just show up on a cruise ship saying "here I am"), but she's no worse for the wear. Her patter and observations are insightful as well as being hilarious.
Jackie Beat tried to give the audience a show long enough to meet their expectations. She made an analogy and said, "Like you older Queens, when you hire a hustler. Legally, you expect it to be a certain length." And so she sang on until she reached "the part of the show when I leave the stage and pretend the show is over" only to be drawn back by the enthusiastic applause for an expected encore! There was a lot of self-admitted "shameless promotion" to sell her tee-shirts, CDs and merchandise but at $10.00 a CD, it was an extremely good bargain.
You can't go wrong seeing a Jackie Beat show. You are guaranteed to laugh out loud at her razor-sharp comedy and hysterical song parodies. For more information on Miss Jackie Beat, visit her website at http://missjackiebeat.com/ Spoiler Alert: It's a Dude!