What started as a friendship developed between classes at Cornish College of the Arts which led to a quirky cabaret act performed in basement fringe theaters and neighborhood bistros that eventually blossomed into a hugely successful off-off-Broadway show that’s toured the world, spent a summer in Provincetown, MA and now returns to Seattle for its “legit” local stage debut at the Seattle Rep which officially opens tonight, Wednesday, October 8 for a month long run.
Yes, it’s The Vaudevillians, the clever cleaver retro cabaret musical act featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Five winner, Jinkx Monsoon and her piano playing cohort in theatrical crime, Major Scales playing a pair of actual old school Vaudeville stars named Kitty Witless and Dr. Dan Von Dandy. The premise of The Vaudevillians is…impossible? Check it:
“The Vaudevillians,” a fictional 1920s duo, were literally frozen in time while touring in Antarctica. Thawing out nearly a century later, they discover their original music has been co-opted throughout the years—and they’re not going to stand for it. Wigs will fly as the two perform hits from the likes of Janis Joplin and Gloria Gaynor in the style of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. It’s a vintage cabaret with a twist of drag.
In (sur)reality, Kitty/Jinkx and Dr. Dan/Major are our good friends and neighbors, actor/performers Jerick Hoffer and Richard Andriessen who met while attending Cornish a few years ago where they discovered they were both among a small group of out homos in their class. (What has the world come to when arts colleges don’t have a majority of homospecial students?) The pair quickly bonded over their love of pop standards from a long time ago and created The Vaudevillians to showcase their talents and shared interests. Mr. Hoffer’s career breakthrough as “Jinkx” led to opportunities to present the show to a much larger audience beyond Capitol Hill bistros and basement theater spaces. While many other drag stars would have grabbed the many (bland) but well-paying bar gigs offered to RPDR stars, Jerick/Jinkx used these opps to build a legit stage career for both himself and Mr. Andriessen.
The gamble seems to have paid off with the show enjoying New York Times coverage and rave reviews in its extended run last year at the Laurie Beechman Theater plus gigs worldwide including a two month tour through Australia this past spring. While The Vaudevillians has played at a couple of charity gigs in Seattle to benefit the duo’s college, Cornish, this four week run of the show at Seattle Rep is its longest sustained run yet in the city. It’s also a perfect chance for the pair’s many fans to check out a show that has received a lot of attention worldwide.
There’s also a couple of special events lined up during the Seattle Rep run, both with appeal to the LGBTQ community. “Queen for a Night” will feature local drag stars and the dates who won their “favor” in the annual “Queen for a Day Auction and Fundraiser”. The entire balcony at the Leo K. Theater at the Rep is on hold for the night of Sunday, October 19 for the winners PLUS anyone who wants to buy a specially priced ticket for that nights show. Go here to purchase and use the discount code: QUEEN.
The second promo is “Jinkx On The Rocks” a special “naughtier” late night version of the show set for Friday, October 24 at 9 pm. Grab tickets early to score good deals that can include pre-show happy hour and seating in the first 3 rows. Go here for more info/tix!