RuPaul’s Drag Race ‘Werq the World’ touches down in San DiegoEntertainment Feature, Latest Issue, Section 4A Thursday, September 28th, 2017
“It’s like a rock concert … but with queens.”
In a few weeks you’ll be able to see your favorite drag performers from RuPaul’s Drag Race on stage at the Spreckels Theatre sashaying and strutting in gowns and glitter in Werq the World.
The tour is the brainchild of producer Brandon Voss but as he explains it, the idea really came from one of the shows favorite entertainers.
“To be totally honest,” Voss said, “Shangela talked me into it. I’m glad she did!”
The tour got its start last year in Europe and quickly sold out, so they decided to extend the tour to include the U.S.
“We kicked it off last May in Europe,” Voss explained. “It was such a success we partnered with VH1 and World of Wonder to take it around the world. The U.S. in October, South America in February and back to Europe/Australia in May 2018. The U.K. is one of the strongest markets. They are every bit as crazy as the U.S. It’s cute to travel the world and see what a strong fan base the show has literally around the globe.”
Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race are in for a surprise as their favorite performers take part in never seen before hijinks. The show will encompass much of what you see on the small screen but there will also be production numbers as well.
“There is a lot of production you don’t typically see in the Drag Shows,” Voss said. “There are four back dancers, lots of group production numbers, costumes, videos and visuals. It’s like a rock concert … but with queens.”
One of the performers in this tour is Shangela, which is probably to be expected since she really was the one who came up with the idea. She’s been touring since season three of the show and strangely enough the road has become home to her.
“The road almost feels like home to me at this point.” Shangela said. “I’ve been constantly on the road since season three of Drag Race aired on television. I’ve had the awesome privilege of performing for fans on six of the seven continents and you know… Antartica is next on my list! At this point I think I do my best sleeping upright on the plane. LOL!”
Shangela grew up in Paris, Texas, where she began her dream of being a drag queen. She was also a cheerleader at her high school and that’s where her dreams began to fully be realized.
“I was dressing up in drag occasionally for school projects and for a cheer turnabout show. Even though I was in a small conservative town like Paris, Texas, teachers and my classmates seemed to be open to it because it was entertaining and I was having a blast doing it. I never let other people’s opinions of me hold me back. Yes, it sometimes hurt my feelings to know other people didn’t agree with me or like me but I stayed true to who I was.”
Shangela credits family and some of history’s most famous performers as those who inspired her when she was a child in Paris, Texas.
“My faves growing up were always Tina Turner, Whoopi Goldberg, RuPaul, my mom and my grandmother,” Shangela admitted. “And now of course I’ve added my mentor and spirit twin actress Jenifer Lewis.”
Shangela also has the distinction of being the only member of her family to pursue performing and she’s the first in her family to get her college degree.
“I’m the only one [performer],” Shangela said. “I was the first in my immediate family to graduate from a four-year college, so there was always this feeling that I needed to do the responsible thing to help out at home. I was nervous to quit my job in PR and take a chance on working in the entertainment world and in drag… but my family was very supportive of my dreams and it has helped me incredibly.”
Another fan favorite on the tour is Alyssa. She grew up in a small town in Texas much like Shangela, with four sisters, and made the same choice to follow her dreams and it’s paid off for her as well. She’s touring and she’s got a YouTube project going and rumor has it it’s going well.
“It’s more than I could imagine,” Alyssa said. “Living in Mesquite growing up I never thought I’d have my own show. It sure was a lot for my Mama Sherrie to take care of! Keep in mind I was a handful as a baby!”
Alyssa was all on board to tour when she found out it was a go. When asked if she’s ever been to San Diego she responded with excited anticipation.
“Yes, of course baby,” Alyssa exclaimed. “I love it there. The city has a great energy and I love being on tour. Give me a Red Bull and I can go all day baby (tongue pop). I love any opportunity to get in front of my fans and do what I love doing, which is performing. When I found out that the Werq the World Tour was going to be a concert style performance show I was completely sold.”
Alyssa has a very busy schedule and will be touring and working on her YouTube reality show at the same time. So it’s probably best to check the website for the tour as there may be a few cities that Alyssa, and others, won’t be performing in. She’s also tight lipped about what fans can expect from the show, keeping audience members guessing until the night of the show.
“I am filming my reality series during the same time as the tour so there are a few dates that I cannot attend,” Alyssa admitted. “But, I am on the majority of the tour and I cannot wait to make the magic happen. There are going to be many surprises! We like to keep fans on the edge of their seats!”
She must be telling the truth because when asked what her favorite part of the show is she’s just as mysterious.
“Everything,” Alyssa exclaimed. “I love how fun and wacky I can be, and at the same time I love how passionate and disciplined I am when it comes to my kids at the studio. It’s like RuPaul says ‘If you can’t love yourself how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?’”
Apparently there is truth in the phrase “No rest for the wicked”, because although it may appear that Alyssa will get a break when the tour takes a break, it’s just not so.
“A break?” Alyssa said. “What’s that? Lol. Once I’m off the Werq the World tour I’ll be doing my solo touring. Which includes two weeks touring with my new one woman show called: The Secret is Out in early 2018.”
Werq The World will be performing for one night only Thursday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. at the Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway in San Diego. Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com or by calling the Spreckels box office at 619-235-9500.
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