Last Friday, I had the opportunity to see my very first show at Caroline’s On Broadway. Living in NYC for over twenty years, it was an odd thing to not have been there before. I went to see Alyssa Edwards, of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Netflix’s “Dancing Queen” fame, and it was a wonderful way to break myself into the Broadway comedy club institution. The staff was extremely welcoming and efficient and my experience there definitely has made me want to return to see many of the other performers they will be hosting in the future. This week kicks off the annual New York Comedy Festival.
Alyssa has been one of the most successful break out stars of the Rupaul’s Drag Race phenomena and has always been one of my quirky favorites as well. We first learned of her and her tongue popping magic in season five back in 2012. She returned for a stint in Season 2 of Drag Race All Stars as well. For one of the non-crown winning queens to appear on the show, she may arguably be one of the most successful of the lot.
We’ve seen her in commercials and various appearances throughout the years as well as in Netflix’s “Dancing Queen” reality series which follows Justin Johnson aka Alyssa within his award-winning Beyond Belief Dance Studio in a World of Wonder produced docuseries now available to stream on Netflix. Most of her hilarious stand-up comedy act was recollections and secret stories from her adventures on Drag Race and her experiences with World of Wonder.
It would be remiss of me not to mention her amazing opening act, Brooklyn based comedian by way of Vermont, Kendall Farrell. His dessert dry wit and deadpan delivery of some brilliant jokes was definitely the perfect way to prepare the audience for the insanity and honesty of Miss Alyssa Edwards.
The show was more a mixture of a one-woman show and stand up comedy as Edwards told tales of her road to success, her feisty grandmother, her adventures as a homeowner in Mesquite, Texas and her exploits on Tindr searching for the king to her queen. Looking absolutely like a gorgeous, life-size caricature of a Vegas showgirl, giant pink feather boa never leaving her arms, she talked candidly and comedically self-aware while sipping on a can of Red Bull.
It was exciting to see a television star in such a simple and production-lite environment, simply being themselves, open and honest and downright funny. One of the most entertaining and raw moments of the show was when the sound tech tried to notify her that she had gone well overtime on stage. Her fury and fierceness showed us stark proof as to why she is and has been so successful in her career thus far.
Check out the schedule of upcoming shows at Caroline’s on Broadway here