Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers
After a wildly successful run of the show during the summer of 2016, BenDeLaCreme returns to the Laurie Beechman Theatre with BenDeLaCreme’s Inferno A-Go-Go!. DeLa (as her fans call her) brings her trademark spark and wit to the stage, and even more confidence and polish as a seasoned performer.
A fan favorite on the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race as well as Drag Race All Stars 3, DeLa highlights early on that this is not a show addressing the RPDR series. Instead, she takes the audience on a rollicking romp through the nine circles of Hell. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, each circle is inhabited by the different souls assigned there due to their actions in life. This play has a phenomenally strong dramaturgical backbone, and the layers of campy wit layered over it create a fully fleshed, insanely fun expedition into the fiery pits of Hades.
Amid clever musical covers, tongue-in-cheek video projection, impressively engineered puppetry, and more underworld puns than you can shake a disembodied femur at, there is a tremendous amount of heart poured into every moment of BenDeLaCreme’s Inferno A-Go-Go!. While driving schtick, DeLa is also vulnerable and engaging. Playing every character on stage, she creates a universe within herself and the audience is the lucky cosmonaut traversing the glimmering rhinestoned skies. There is real heart, and not only in the more serene moments spent pondering why certain souls are doomed. The balance struck between tugging on heartstrings and ticking funny bones is sheer perfection. This is more than a drag show in a downstairs cabaret; it is a delightfully incisive rumination on the hells we create for ourselves. After seeing BenDeLaCreme’s Inferno A-Go-Go!, it is impossible not to leave the Laurie Beechman feeling better about life — and death.
Runs until 3 June 2018 | Image: Jason Russo