The formidable and fabulous Tyra Boinks details her journey from growing up fat and gay in small-town Manitoba to becoming one of Winnipeg’s most celebrated drag queens in this "monologue meets standup routine meets TEDx talk."
Indeed, this show feels more like a frank (and funny) chat about sex, sexuality and body image than a show proper, but the content is so good that its delivery hardly matters. Big Fat Drag Queen could have just as easily found a long life as a widely shared online essay, but meeting Tyra face-to-face is what makes it so affecting; just as fellow queen Trixie did for Tyra all those years ago, Tyra "forces you to confront her." As Tyra poignantly discusses in the show, gay and overweight people are routinely denied their personhood, their visibility. She fought long and hard to claim hers. Now she’s making you look at her. Acknowledge her. And, yes, love her.
With some polishing, some editing and a little more of that drag-queen show-womanship, this one-person show could be a real knockout. When Tyra performs And I Am Telling You, the torch song from Dreamgirls, and lip-syncs those assertive lines — "and you’re gonna love me" — it’s victorious.
— Jen Zoratti