I was focused, galvanised and ready to take my seat at the Shine Auditorium, where Alaska Thunderfuck of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 and winner of All Stars 2 was about to perform in a night simply called “An Evening With Alaska” on 27 August.
It was the first time the Drag Race alum had come to our sunny island and as a fan of hers since I first heard that iconic “Hieeee” in episode one of season 5, it’s been years of patiently waiting as other queens came and went, yet Lasky had yet to grace our shores.
This show was also about 3 years in the making, as due to some unfortunate circumstances, the queen was unable to make it for her scheduled Battle of the Seasons appearance set for 2016. Having attended that show mainly to see my one true queen and then been disappointed, I was more than ready to be dazzled by a performance I had been anticipating for years.
Of course that also meant I also had to shell out the money for the VIP meet and greet.
VIP Meet & Greet with Alaska
“I like your shirt.” she drawled, in her signature low, monotonous and draggy voice as I walked towards her. Of course she did, it was one of the shirts she sold as merchandise and I had proudly worn it to fit the occasion.
I showed her the sign I had written to use for photo op that said in big block words: I STORMED AREA 51 AND FOUND THIS ALIEN, because Alaska is an alien from the planet Glamtron, and naturally, the best alien to exist in my books.
“That’s funny,” was her reply and she had also nodded when I asked if she knew the Storm Area 51 meme reference. Starstruck, I smiled for the camera, got her to sign my VIP lanyard and then it was back to my seat and wait in anticipation for the show to start.
The show started off with a bang as Alaska, after a costume change (it wouldn’t be a drag show without one or a few of them), came out and strut her stuff to her song, “Hieeee”.
Throughout the night, the queen thrilled the crowds with her live performances of her own music such as other hit tracks “Your Makeup Is Terrible”, “Nails”, “STUN”, “Leopard Print” and “Walk Into The Club”.
There was also a piano on stage, and with the help of Jeremy, her best friend and fellow musician, she also performed covers of songs requested by the audience, in what she dubbed the “Megamix”.
Weaving together requests for Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” and “The Cure”, Madonna’s “Material Girl”, Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” (also done in a Dolly Parton version), RuPaul’s “Read U Wrote U” (Roxxxy Andrews verse), her own tracks “Come To Brazil”and “Vagina”, and also a rendition of Happy Birthday that included wishing audience members that were celebrating their birthdays.
The theme of audience interaction continued throughout the night, with Alaska trying to include as many people audience in the show. She often got off the stage and pranced the aisles, making it a point not to neglect the fans seated furthest away and made the entire auditorium her stage. The audience lapped it all up, with fans dancing in the aisles and jumping out of their seats.
There was a “Can I Ask You A Question” segment, mirroring the exact video segments on the WOWPresents YouTube channel that Alaska had done for the grand finale of Seasons 6, 7 and 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She gamely went along with requests to sing “Read U Wrote U” (Katya’s verse) together and even tried her best to read an audience member (throwing in some sick reads about another queen, Willam Belli, at the same time too).
One audience member also got the biggest honor of the night: performing on stage together with Alaska for the catchy song, “Walk Into The Club”, which is a song about…well, walking into a club. Alaska shared how the inspiration behind it was a comment by Bob The Drag Queen, who had mused that it would be funny for someone to make a song all about just walking into the club. So Alaska did just that and brought the club vibes to the auditorium as she sang and made her presence felt in her full leopard print ensemble (an outfit befitting of the leopard-print obsessed queen).
The integration of such large amounts of audience interaction created lots of adorable moments with the crowd, with Alaska marvelling over the nails of an audience member in Alaska-cosplay, to reaching out to shake hands and giving high fives, it made for a truly unforgettable experience. Unlike some other drag shows I’ve been to in Singapore where there was a definite disconnect between performer and the audience (perhaps sometimes due to the large physical space between the stage and the seats), this show felt like it bridged the gap for me and had that perfect balance of performance, interaction and all around entertainment.
It was much too soon that Alaska glided off the stage, but the night did not end without an encore. Alaska ended the night with her verse of RuPaul’s “Read U Wrote U” and her post-All Stars 2 single, “The T”. As the tune of RuPaul’s “Kitty Girl” echoed through the auditorium, Alaska walked through the aisles, shaking hands one final time before she made her exit.
The 1 hour 30 minute show had all too soon come to an end. For me, it was one of the most memorable and enjoyable shows I’d been to and I loved every minute of it. Now I can only hope it doesn’t take another three years before Alaska performs in Singapore again.
Know a friend who loves RuPaul’s Drag Race, especially Alaska? Share this post with them and get them to mark their calendars the next time they come back to Singapore!