~By Bart Greenberg
Ginger Minj, the self-described “glamour toad” of RuPaul’s Drag Race, returns to The Laurie Beechman Theatre September 22-25 with a brand new show celebrating the release of her new CD, Sweet T.
A finalist during the seventh season of the Emmy Award-winning season, Ginger returned this year for the All-Star Competition. Rather surprisingly, she was eliminated in the second episode of the season. Ironically, it’s the only episode of all the series that Ginger didn’t get to watch during its original broadcast, as she was in London performing that evening. When asked how it feels to watch one of episodes in which she appeared, Ginger’s word for it was “weird”.
“It’s like being in familiar surroundings, but the viewpoint offers a whole new perspective.” This is in part a result of seeing what other of the contestants were experiencing while she was concentrating on her own efforts, and in part because approximately 40 hours of work has been edited down to 48 minutes of show time. “There’s a great deal of nip and tuck on each episode,” the crusty voiced singer/comedian says, “and I’m not just talking about RuPaul!”
Although this season seems to emphasized backstage sturm und drang, Ginger insists that actually she felt there was much more camaraderie this time around for her. She freely admits when she was first a participant in Season Seven she was more focused on herself and winning, in part because she really didn’t really know the girls who were her competition. This time, the contestants are all friends and it made a big difference to her.
She is very excited about debuting the original songs featured on her new album. Last year, she released a single, “Ooh Lala Lala,” which was a test project to see how she worked with her new songwriting team of Jean Morrison and Diego Sanchez. The song was written, recorded and video made in a two-week period. It was intended as a response to hate mail that Ginger had received, with an attitude of brushing it off and going forward.
To create these songs, Ginger and her collaborators pored over her old journal entries and letters for inspiration. She did some work on the lyrics, but readily admits writing music is not a part of her arsenal of talents. As to her musical influences, she describes herself as the strange child of Jennifer Holliday and Meat Loaf.
The CD also features several covers, including duets with Margaret Cho (“Ride or Die”) and Carnie Wilson (“God Only Knows,” originally written by Carnie’s dad, Brian Wilson, for his group, The Beach Boys) and “You Think You’re a Man,” a tribute to its originator, Divine, one of Ginger’s inspirations, and a track she is especially excited about.
Ginger Minj: The Album Premiere plays The Laurie Beechman Theatre, under The West Bank Café, 407 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, September 22 – 25, each evening at 7:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.spincyclenyc.com. In addition to the ticket price of $22 (or $40 for VIP seating and a meet & greet after the show), there is a $20 food/drink minimum.