RuPaul’s drag queens ‘save the galaxy’

‘Werq the World Tour’ brings magic to Center for the Arts Wednesday

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Sophia Scime didn’t want a new car for her sweet 16. She wanted tickets to RuPaul’s “Werq the World Tour.” 

The Buffalo high schooler’s birthday got a little more fierce when she was invited on stage by hostess Asia O’Hara to take part in a game during the show.

Even though Scime didn’t win the contest, she left the stage smiling, knowing it was a birthday gift she would never forget.

“It was a little scary to be on stage with Asia, but even in front of so many people she was super sweet.” Scime said. 

On Wednesday, UB’s Center for the Arts Mainstage Theatre was filled with the bright colors, glittery ensembles and sensual dance moves of the Official RuPaul’s Drag Race “Werq the World Tour.” Roughly 1,200 concertgoers watched as Plastique Tiara, Naomi Smalls, Monét X Change, Detox Icunt, Aquaria, Yvie Oddly and hostess O’Hara “werqed” to “save the galaxy.” Audience members wondered if season seven winner Violet Chachki would appear –– as she appeared at other venues for the tour –– but the seven other queens’ performances seemed to make up for her absence. Their performances emanated various planets: Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Venus, Jupiter and Earth, with O’Hara representing the sun. 

X Change filled the theater with a captivating number straight from Uranus. She enchanted the crowd with every aspect of her performance, from her bright-pink pantsuit to her iridescent makeup and spunky, sensual demeanor. 

Gasps echoed in the theater when the diva strutted her way into the audience and performed several lap dances for lucky audience members, all while syncing “I Put a Spell on You” by Annie Lennox. 

Saying that X Change left the audience bewitched would be an understatement, as her magical flare had the audience entranced. 

 Aquaria took the audience on a trip to Venus, one of the lighter journeys taken that night. She embraced the stage in a feathery, sky-blue dress and green wig, but later stripped down to a strappy, sheer, embellished bodysuit to perform acrobatics.

Vindhya Burugupalli | The Spectrum

Drag queen Aquaria performed aerial acts at the RuPaul's 2019 "Werq the World Tour" at UB Center for the Arts last Wednesday.


The fan-favorite queen ended her performance with aerial acts while flawlessly lip-syncing to Kerli’s ballad “Walking on Air.” The invigorating performance left audience members standing in admiration.

Arguably the sexiest performance of the night came from planet Jupiter. Icunt danced and grinded to Madonna’s “Bedtime Story” and the vivacious performance left fans energized.

She brought a pop of color to her moody and sensual performance, as she donned a fitted neon-green jumpsuit and an extraterrestrial wig to match.

Audience member and RuPaul superfan Rebecca Walter said Icunt was by far her favorite act of the night.

“I’m a little biased, but I love Detox,” Walter said.

Season 11 winner Oddly brought the crowd back to Earth when she made Area 51 memes an on-stage reality. In the apocalyptic performance, she wore a skin-tight semi-sheer black jumpsuit with neon-green futuristic patterns and green face paint. While the performance featured no Naruto running, Oddly instead rhythmically moved to “My Humps” by The Black Eyed Peas and “I Fink U Freeky” by Die Antwoord.

Vindhya Burugupalli | The Spectrum

Season 11 winner, Yvie Oddly personifies an alien, bringing  Area 51 to life during her act.


Contrary to the event’s title, the icon RuPaul was not a participant in the tour. Freshman occupational therapy major Julia Marcotullio was disappointed about RuPaul’s absence, but ultimately expressed understanding, as “he’s a busy man.”

Even without RuPaul, audience members were satisfied with the stylish performances of the seven other drag queens. 

“They’re all just about ‘go for it, if it makes you happy just f-----g do it.’ I love that mindset.” Walter said. 

The show concluded with a culmination of all seven queens uniting their powers to “Save the World.” 

 Every element of the finale –– from matching gold outfits to sexy dance routines and even dramatic displays of acting –– was fabulous. And by the end of the number, the audience was screaming, too. The final song “Heroes” by Alesso (ft. Tove Lo) left the audience happy with only one possible complaint: the antics did not go on long enough.

 

The arts desk can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com.