60 min / Comedy, Musical / Mature
Drawn That Way is a musical variety show hosted by Bebe Queen (pronounced “Bee-Bee”, not “Beh-Beh”) and features performances by alternating special guests and Bebe and her band.
The show is fun, creative, quirky, osé, and will lift even the lowest of spirits. Right off the bat, the audience understands exactly what’s in store for them as Bebe busts into dance and delivers a jaw dropping grand entrance, for which the whole audience cheered and applauded with enthusiasm. She is glowing, sparkling, and moves like she was born with high heels on.
Bebe shares the stage with her band of local musicians: Kenny Hayes on keyboard and vocals and Andrea MacWilliams on guitar and vocals. The complicity and positive energy between the three performers is palpable, even during their individual performances. There genuinely seems to be a strong sense of support, collaboration and shared creativity between the three, and this adds an important layer of quality. The music, songs, lyrics and performances are all original and I promise you that you will love them. There’s some serious talent on stage that I had not anticipated: Bebe, Kenny and Andrea are all talented singers with outstanding voices.
Unlike some drag shows that just entertain us with music and dancing, Drawn That Way has a distinct storyline. Indeed, Bebe tells the story of her coming out as a gay man, from her teenage years until now. She shares intimate accounts of having to hide her homosexuality, having her first crush, coming out loud and proud and finally, finding the love of her life. Bebe delivers this personal journey during the short slices of time she has hosting the other performers. She does so with honesty, genuine emotion, hilarity and a whole lot of sass. She had the audience laughing, clapping and cheering for her during the entire show.
However, the show didn’t seem completely finished at times and I would have liked to have seen it a little more rehearsed. There were a few technical problems with the equipment and some fumbled lines, but these small blemishes were easily overseen as Bebe and her band shined on stage, literally and figuratively. This is a show that could get even better with a little more polish and time.
Come for the drag but be impressed by the incredible musical talent. If I may be allowed to quote the great RuPaul: Shante, you stay.
Drawn That Way is playing at LIVE! On Elgin (220 Elgin St) until Saturday June 23, 2018. Tickets cost $12. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.