When did drag shows get so good?
After the recent back-to-back amazing Dina Martina shows, I wasn't sure if Coco Peru—whom I had never seen live, only in movies and on TV—would continue our winning streak. But she certainly did, and in a most unexpected way. As I told her after the show, I had gone in confident that she'd be entertaining, but hadn't dreamed her set would be so moving. Empowering is more like it.
She may wear a dress, but Coco Peru—looking strikingly like Patti LuPone last night—is not girly. She spends a chunk of her one-person show speaking passionately about gay rights and, more broadly, about how we should all strive to accept ourselves as we are. She uses examples from her own life as a guy who wears dresses and who's in a long-term relationship with a guy who doesn't, many of which involve details (shit, pussy piercings, nudism) that one would not assume could be milked for so much insight into the human condition.
I was less bowled over by Coco's song selection, at least at first (Billy Joel? But hey, it goes with her message of saying—or singing—whatever the fuck she wants!). But by her 11 o'clock song, "The Chance to Sing", one that Bea Arthur warbled so unforgettably in her one-woman show, Coco's vocal stylings had become a seamless part of her message.
She's all sold out at the Laurie Beechman, but drag your ass to see her if you get half a chance.