HomeBensalem Times‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ icons bring holiday show to town

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ icons bring holiday show to town

Audiences traveled to the past, present and future on Wednesday with BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon

‘Tis the season: Jinkx Monsoon (L) and BenDeLaCreme recently brought their annual holiday show to The Fillmore. Source: Curtis Brown

For many people, the holidays just don’t hold the same sort of magic that they once did. From the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic to political unrest and overseas wars, it can be hard to discover the spirit of the season.

Luckily, audiences had some assistance in this matter on Wednesday evening, when RuPaul’s Drag Race icons BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon, the latter of whom just took home the crown on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season 7, set out to restore everyone’s missing sense of cheer. The dynamic duo’s annual “The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show,” which is touring across the U.S., U.K. and Canada, made a stop at The Fillmore, located in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia.

For about two hours, attendees (who included Allentown native and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy personality Carson Kressley) went on a journey with DeLa and Jinkx through the past, present and future. Their goal was to travel back in time, find the one thing that dashed everyone’s joy and fix it.

There was flashy choreography by gingerbread men and other seasonal creatures, stunning costumes and a jam-packed setlist, including a reimagined cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” and heartwarming original tune “Looking at the Lights,” penned by BenDeLaCreme.

“‘Looking at the Lights’ is the first song I’ve ever written that’s just earnest and didn’t break itself with a joke. It’s a true holiday song about friendship and community, and how even in the darkest of times, we still have each other,” DeLa, who appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6 and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season 3, said of the song. “I wrote it as a way to process all my feelings of trauma, grief and anxiety in the pandemic. When we were working on the show last year, it had all the campiness, jokes and parodies our audiences love, but it was still missing something that truly acknowledged what we had all gone through. This song became the climax of the show, and hearing Jinkx sing it for the first time absolutely floored me. As someone who’s always struggled with the holidays, this is more than just a song about pandemic loneliness. It’s timeless and always relatable.”

Each Jinkx and DeLa show, all produced under the production company BenDeLaCreme Presents, is chock-full of camp and humor. The pair’s polar opposite personalities — DeLa’s “terminally delightful” naivety matched with Jinkx’s more blunt and pessimistic nature — adds to the comedy. But underneath the humor is typically a take-away lesson for the audience.

In the case of this year’s holiday show, the core message is that no one can change the past. Rather, we must forge ahead with good friends and loved ones by our side (in corresponding light-up gowns that form a Christmas tree, of course).

Time travel adventure: In “The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show,” they encounter the spirits of the past (pictured), present and future. Source: Curtis Brown

It must be noted that the entire show was co-written and co-created by the two queens, and directed by BenDeLaCreme. Their festive tradition began in 2018 with the sold-out tour “To Jesus, Thanks for Everything,” followed by 2019’s “All I Want for Christmas Is Attention” and 2021’s “The Return of the Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, LIVE!” In 2020, during the throes of the pandemic, DeLa pivoted to produce her first-ever film, The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special, a 60-minute variety special that premiered on Hulu.

“Jinkx and I love writing. We are passionate and have something to say. It comes from the heart,” said DeLa. “Writing and performing as a combo is the best way for us to express what drives us as artists and as humans and fortunately, on top of that, people just happen to think we’re very funny.”

At the conclusion of the show, Jinkx and DeLa thanked everyone for attending and creating a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, especially in the aftermath of the devastating Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs. With each production, their mission is to create an inclusive space for all walks of life.

“‘The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show’ is joyous, hilarious, surrealist, communal and heartwarming,” said DeLa. “Nothing makes me feel more connected to the good in the world than the seas of people we get to celebrate the season with night after night, laughing, cheering and being in our feelings together.”

Jinkx added, “It will test the limits of stupidity while being unexpectedly deep and reflective. We strive for entertainment while always proving that the holidays are for you to celebrate however you want to.”

Visit jinkxanddela.com to keep up with BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon.

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com

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