It’s been a great run for drag queens on television and in everyday life in recent years. “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” first on Logo, then VH1, is the reigning Emmy Award champion in the competition program category four years running. Ditto for its host, RuPaul Charles, who is now tied with Jeff Probst (“Survivor”) for most wins as a reality-TV competition ringleader.
Also on Sunday evening at the Emmys in Los Angeles, Billy Porter became the first openly gay black man to win a gold statuette for leading actor in a drama for his portrayal of the flamboyant ballroom emcee Pray Tell in the FX series “Pose,” about the drag queen culture in New York in the 1980s.
And in recent months in Spokane, drag queens have hosted reading hour at libraries, and, while there have been the expected protesters outside the reading institutions, supporters, many in the form of parents and their children, have outnumbered the detractors.
This is America in 2019.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq the World Tour 2019” sashays into Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox on Sunday evening, and the cast is emcee Asia O’Hara; reigning champion Yvie Oddly, of Denver, from the most recent Season 11; plus, Kim Chi, Kameron Michaels, Naomi Smalls, Plastique and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (“Miss Vaaanjie! Miss Vaaanjie!”).
Season 7 winner Violet Chachki – one of the all-time favorite queens of this journalist – and Detox have performed on other tour dates but will not be in Spokane this weekend.
Michaels, whose birth name is Dane Young, finished in the final three in Season 10, just missing out on the crown to Aquaria. The under-the-radar underdog and tattooed muscle queen answered questions ahead of Sunday’s performance (tickets are still available), and he kept his responses short and to the point (he was shy during his “RDR” season, as well):
How has the “Werq the World” tour gone so far for you?
It has been great so far! This is the first time bringing this new theme to North America.
Has there been an especially memorable experience or city for you?
I think our first show on the European tour – on April 1 in Madrid – was pretty memorable. It was our first time showing the new show, and hearing the audience gagging was everything.
Do you have a bestie among this cast?
I think all of us are pretty much family now since we are all trapped on a tour bus (laughs).
What has been the biggest change in your life after finishing a runner-up in Season 10 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”?
I was such a homebody, so it has helped me break out of my shell.
Would you compete in an all-star season?
Never say never, I guess.
As you are the muscle queen, how often do you work out? You and your gym regimen have a large following on Instagram.
I try to work out every day. Due to constantly traveling, I have lost some definition, but I’m getting it back.
What’s next for you after the “Werq the World” tour ends?
I’m heading to Las Vegas to be a part of the “RuPaul’s Drag Race Live” show at the Flamingo – I’m so excited about it!
What is one thing that fans would be surprised to learn about you?
I am obsessed with horror movies so much so that I have tattoos paying homage to them.
And what can fans expect Sunday night in downtown Spokane?
They can expect a wig snatching show like no other drag show they have ever seen!
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