BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Thank God it was Friday. And thank heavens for an artist who came to slay, and did just that.
Friday, June 14, in her fourth solo show to premiere at NYC’s Laurie Beechman Theatre, writer/performer BenDeLaCreme proved herself a kitchen sink creative force adept at blending videos, voice-overs, puppetry, bawdy burlesque, and distinct, decidedly surreal notes of vaudeville into a comedic confection every bit as dense and sweet as the towering wedding cake looming large, to the left of the stage.
Tasked with a one-hour deadline to organize her dream wedding (sans a groom yet-to-be-found), the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 6 queen and MAC award-winner packed her tour-de-force performance with a mother load of puns, dirty jokes, nimble improv, deft physical comedy, song parodies, and original tunes. Yes, she even raps—and does it pretty well for a white girl. But scratch just slightly below the surface, and you’ll find elements of philosophical discourse, cultural criticism, and subversive satire, all of which more than merited that end-of-evening standing ovation (and hoots and hollers throughout).
Playing through June 23, BenDeLaCreme is… READY TO BE COMMITTED finds our girl looking for that elusive life partner via her phone’s hook-up-heaven Grindr app.
“It’s like playing a video game, she explains, “except the stakes are crippling emotional despair.”
Settling on a Mr. Right who had her at “Sup?,” her Grindr courtship is a series of dirty come-ons grossly misinterpreted by the sunny optimist.
“You into facials?” asks her new beau, to which she remarks, “Ooh, spa day!” Asked if she’s “ready for this load,” she reasons, “I have my baggage, he has his. We have to be ready to take each other’s loads.”
And take it you will—the show, that is, which has an embarrassment of riches, none of which we’ll mention here. Better to see her live, and you’d better move on that, pronto. Many of the remaining shows are sold out, as well they should be.
BenDeLaCreme is a sight to behold, whether she’s playing herself or the dozen-or-so characters that come and go like the emotional highs and lows befitting a blushing bride who bows to the pressure of creating that perfect moment at the altar. (“I just did a show about relationships without ever involving another person,” she remarks, in a flash of self-awareness.)
There’s only one altar you really need to set your sights on, and that’s the altar of deep devotion, dedicated to the singularly unique BenDeLaCreme. If you love her so much, why don’t you marry her? The wedding venue’s already been booked, it would be a shame to see all that cake go to waste, and we have here a queen who clearly deserves to be committed.
Through June 23, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 W. 42nd St., btw. 9th & 10th Aves., inside the West Bank Cafe). Tickets are $32 plus a $20 food/drink minimum. A $62 VIP ticket, including priority seating and meet-and-greet, is also available. To purchase tickets, call 212-352-3101 or visit SpinCycleNYC.com. Artist info at bendelacreme.com.
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