It was a relief when Sharon Needles won the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race — not just because she was the most intriguing and bizarre competitor, but because she wasn’t aping the fashion-model-glam drag that previous champions had exemplified. There are many subgenres of drag performance, and up until Needles won, the show’s insistence on runway model varieties of drag performers may have made for easier assimilation. But it was doing a grave disservice to the comediennes, big girls, camp artists and gothy girls who help make up the rhinestone rainbow of the modern drag experience.
With her macabre tendencies and elongated, Modigliani-esque lines, Needles brought a whole new aesthetic into the game, with elements of Morticia Addams, Grace Jones, Elvira and Marilyn Manson in the mix. If you heard Needles’ moody and effective cover of Ministry’s “Every Day Is Halloween” a few months back, you know this isn’t some habitual lip-syncer parading around the same material over and over again. Our girl Sharon is the real deal, serving spooky glamour and sick humor in giant, heaping spoonfuls.
What better way to spend the End of The World than with America’s current reigning drag superstar 9 p.m. tonight at Play on Church Street — particularly since this diva knows her way around whatever apocalyptic turns the evening may take?