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An Evening with Alaska, Glee Club, Birmingham - review

By Rebecca Stanley | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Two winner Alaska said 'hiiieee' to fans in Birmingham last night when she brought her new headline show to the Glee Club.

Alaska

First up to entertain the already excitable crowd was charismatic Newcastle queen Ophelia Balls, who dazzled the crowd with her tongue-in-cheek humour and warm demeanour.

The hills were then alive with the sound of Klub Kids regular Mutha Tucka, as the bearded queen treated the audience to a lip sync performance combining songs from The Sound of Music and Gwen Stefani.

Mutha impressed fans with precise choreography, as well as a hilarious nun costume which stripped down to a mini dress and lingerie.

As other-worldly sound effects filled the room, 'snake queen' Alaska slowly slithered onto the stage, dressed head-to-toe in one of her signature gowns created from bin bags.

From this moment on, everyone within the Glee Club was treated to a performance which can only be described as confusing and chaotic.

"You may all be wondering what An Evening with Alaska is," the 33-year-old performer announced to the crowd.

"Well the answer is, I don't really know either.

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"But we're here to work that out together."

The queen, played by Pennsylvania artist Justin Howard, delighted fans with more than an hour of her own music, comedic covers, costume changes and dry wit that had every person in the room begging for more.

Alaska's kooky character and effortless charisma instantly allowed her to connect with the crowd, causing every simple glance and strange sound she made to evoke roaring laugher from the crowd.

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"I'm not just a popular singer/songwriter, or a serious TV personality from the likes of Scared Famous and The Apprentice," the queen joked.

"I'm not just a critically-acclaimed actress from The Quiet Room, or upcoming masterpiece Sharknado Six.

"I am also a professional piano player."

Once Alaska was done playing the keys - in a terrible yet amusing fashion - she introduced the room to her musical partner Jeremy. The duo delighted fans to renditions of Alaska's own work such as Ru Girl, Come to Brazil and The Shade Of It All, as well as iconic Dexys Midnight Runners track Come On Eileen.

Alaska walked through the crowd to sing to unsuspecting individuals - even munching on pieces of my best friend's popcorn in-between verses, to the shock and amusement of us both.

She involved the audience further in a question and answer session, joined by a puppet of her Drag Race season five creation Lil' Poundcake. The section covered everything from possible regrets during her time on the TV show, to how strong her friendship was with queens such as Jinkx Monsoon, Willam, and Celebrity Big Bother winner Courtney Act.

At times the show felt less like a rehearsed performance, and more like a laid-back gathering between friends, which created an intimate atmosphere within the venue.

In one last surprise, Birmingham Drag Punk queens Tacky and Lilith joined Alaska on stage for a rendition of her verse in RuPaul song Read U Wrote U, and original song The T.

Alaska highlighted her vast array of talents during the show in expert form, and left everyone in the room wanting more.

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley
@becci_star

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me: rebecca.stanley@expressandstar.co.uk

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