RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 winner, Bianca Del Rio, just concluded yet another hugely successful round of her hit comedy special, “Rolodex Of Hate.” The show was held at the Vogue Theatre in downtown Vancouver, BC. It was organized by Murray and Peter Present with TFD Present.
With her reputation preceding her, I had mixed feelings about going to this show – excitement and fear. Even though I’ve never had any bad experience meeting her in past events, they’ve always been very normal compared to … say … Katya and her delightful outrageousness, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I wasn’t “trembling with excitement” deep down inside. So with enough courage, I bought my VIP ticket.
Rain or Snow
I arrived at the theater almost an hour early, but still, there were already a few people standing around waiting for the doors to open. It always pays to be punctual. Besides, I will be very restless waiting at home for the last minute. I tried talking to a few fans in front of the queue about RuPaul’s Drag Race, which I learned they still don’t like Season 7, but it’s just so darn difficult to keep the conversation going (or think) when it’s cold – you know, because it’s winter.
Meet and Greet
After ten past six they finally opened the doors and let us in for the VIP meet and greet. We were directed to the merchandise area, where we could buy Bianca Del Rio goodies for her to sign, and the meet and greet area. While queueing for the meet and greet, we were encouraged to write on a piece of paper any question we want to ask Bianca Del Rio, anything. Questions will be handpicked by Bianca Del Rio and answered at the last part of the show. That to me was a definite invitation for a read. The idea of her reading me was fun at first, but I thought it will be too embarrassing to pass out right up front – since my seat was in the middle of the third row! So, no, I’ll let others take the bullet. She showed up in a short dress, showcasing her precious and rarely seen gams.
When it was my turn to meet her, the staff up front insisted on taking my photo with her (to ensure she looks good in them), and I said to myself, well that’s not a selfie – as advertised. I explained to him that the photo will turn out better if I did it myself, he said “No.” So that’s that. And the results proved that my point and shoot camera can make a better lie if I’m the one handling it. Anyway, I finally walked up to her warm open arms, lol. I told her who I was, and she said, “Bitch, we finally meet!” And I replied, “We’ve meet three times before!” Reading and nervous laughter ensued (and FYI: Susan manages @HurricaneBianca). The whole situation was very memorable, lol. And so … it’s a good idea for me to put myself in the spotlight by asking a question to be answered during the show? No! lol. Ok, just a side note, see, RuPaul remembers me … by my Christian name. Hmmmm.
Everything was going smoothly and orderly, which is to be expected from Canadians, most of the time. And after ninety minutes of paying homage to the queen in a semi-dim lit cozy space, we found our way to the bar, and seats. No one else was in drag, as far as I’ve noticed, because they knew better. lol
Ok, so I won’t really talk about the show point-by-point with the tour is still going because it will ruin people’s experience. So instead, I’m just going to give a general feedback.
Frankly, I was expecting something totally different. You know, the usual standup shtick with jokes and strong insults delivered back-to-back – Thanks to Bianca Del Rio’s club gigs videos posted by fans on YouTube. Instead, what I saw was a biography of Roy Haylock sprinkled with humor, hard truths, questionable juvenile behaviour, F-bombs and other harsh words, mild insults, anecdotes fit for a Quentin Tarantino movie, inspirational stories, and things worth noting – like where to take a trick in New Orleans: the back alley next to the trash bin. I wrote “mild insults,” because once you’ve read comments on hot button topics posted on Facebook, everything else is mild.
With her name in big bold letters projected onto the stage canvas, she entered the stage in her long red dress, lol (that’s what it was, and she probably made it), wearing her trademark mug and giving the usual silhouette. There’s really nothing else to say about her outfit other than red and sparkly.
There was no dull moment, the show’s pacing was good. The audience’s reaction was highest when she mentioned anything related to RuPaul’s Drag Race (like Latrice Royale or Adore Delano) or something gross – like fletching, drugs, incest, or Lady Bunny and a homeless trick. I like how she used an actual rolodex, one she set on a podium next to her alcoholic drink, where she wrote keywords (and then laminated) for each stand-up topic. She opted to use that instead of a teleprompter, which is very fitting.
The audience reaction was somewhat a tad subdued, which is typical for Vancouverites. The audience didn’t stood up when she first walked in, and only less than a handful stood up when she cracked great jokes – too shy, I guess? Tough crowd? I, for one, sat at the back and then on the side seats instead of the third row up front because I needed to take photos from better angles, and I didn’t want to become the show’s material. If it where a show where the queen dance and lip sync, I’d likely be standing up front!
Drinking At Work
It was nice that she picked an audience member on the first row as her drinking buddy. So every time she gots a shot of booze he’d get one too, and they would toast and drink together. But at one point the guy drank too soon before she could make a toast and they had to give him another shot. Bianca Del Rio’s reaction was priceless.
Other than her main material, it’s the adlibs that I really like the most, especially those that are made at the expense of the audience. And speaking of, I like how she talked about her past Vancouver experience – she was in town last year for TFD Presents during her Drag Race season and before the finale, and for RuPaul BOTS. She talked about poutine and our tardiness, lol. Finally, she picked a few pre-screened questions previously written by fans at the meet and greet. She then asked the fan who wrote it to stand up so she can address them to their face. That was one of the best part of the show. It was hilarious, awkward, and insulting. And I’m happy for the fans who took a huge hit. LOL
All jokes aside, she was very grateful and gave a lot of praise to audience – basically the ointment one would apply on a wound after making the laceration. Then she took a selfie with everybody.
Note: Special thanks to Peter and Murray for being so nice and accommodating.