This review of Paige Turner's Big Gay Pride Show at The Laurie Beechman Theatre was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and published in Volume X, Issue 6 (2016) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!
Paige Turner's Big Gay Pride Show
Written & Directed by Paige Turner (Daniel Frank Kelley)
Special Guests: Sutton Lee Seymour (Prescott Seymour)
Jackie Coxx (Character Creator Unknown)
The Laurie Beechman Theatre
407 West 42nd Street
New York, New York 10036
Paige Turner celebrated Gay Pride with the premiere of her latest holiday-themed extravaganza entitled Paige Turner's Big Gay Pride Show at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. Sutton Lee Seymour and Jackie Coxx, who together with Paige Turner, comprised Three Queens In A Room Bitching, offered up a very entertaining and moving tribute to many who fought for gay rights, a number of whom paid the ultimate price for doing so. The Spitfires (young, male, good-looking, back-up dancers) never made their promised appearance but the parody lyrics, impersonations, old photographs, lip syncing, colorful costumes and elaborate wigs kept the audience engaged and immersed in the spirit of gay pride. Many were handed rainbow flags to wave at appropriate times during the show. During a faux public argument about what the theme of the show should be, Sutton Lee Seymour criticized Paige Turner for continuing to do her Bea Arthur Golden Girl's Turkey Lurkey skit for the past five years while Paige criticized Sutton Lee for continuing to sing Poor Unfortunate Souls over and over during that same time period. Ultimately, we were promised a great show but forewarned not to bring our mom "cause it's gay, cause it's gay, cause it's gay."
Your true colors are beautiful like a rainbow! Unfortunately, there has been a history of violence against gay and gender-variant people for far too long. Video clips were used to help the audience remember Matthew Shepard, Harvey Milk and the victims of the recent slaughter at the Pulse dance club in Orlando, Florida (#WeAreOrlando). Scrolling a list of the names of the dead together with each person's age brought tears to most people's eyes. Photographs of individuals dressed in drag brought to mind how old a phenomenon "cross-dressing" is. The term "drag" was used as far back as 1870 to refer to actors who dressed in women's clothing but the practice wasn't widely criminalized until the 1950s. No Gay Pride Show would be complete without a tribute to Judy Garland, a true gay icon. All three divas performed spot-on impersonations of her both as a younger and older woman. At one brilliant moment in the history of musical theater, the older Judy met the younger Judy, while each was singing with her signature hand gestures for that particular stage in her career. It was pure ecstasy!
Other highlights of the show included Paige Turner singing I've Never Been To Me and Sutton Lee and Paige singing the duet Bossom Buddies. You will also be asked whether you "believe in life after love" and encouraged to come out "before the parade passes by." Finally, Paige asked the audience "to teach her how to 'butt up' so she can bottom like you." She called on stage a young "twink" who she sat in a chair engaging him in a sensual lap dance. He got into the spirit of the moment by grabbing her hips and pulling her gyrating ass back down into his crotch. However, reflecting the new eclectic mix of individuals who now attend drag shows, the young man informed Paige he was neither a top nor a bottom! It is truly a new era! Gays getting married. Straight girls and guys hanging out in Gay Bars, and average Americans treating Drag Queens as celebrities! What has become of the world!
If you are ready to ride on rainbows, unlock your inner diva and show your true colors, make sure you get yourself down to see a Paige Turner show soon. You will not be disappointed! Paige Turner is one of the original creators, producers and hosts of New York City's live drag reality show, "So You Think You Can Drag?" at New World Stages. She is also a Glam Award winner for her music video "Grindr Connection" (a parody of The Muppet's "Rainbow Connection"), which you can view at https://youtu.be/jVJQhU2Iggg