Jinkx Monsoon points out the vagueness of her title She’s Still Got It! at her new show with Major Scales housed in the Assembly George Square’s Palais du Variete this Edinburgh Fringe. What Jinkx appears to have is a biting wit, the ability to bring her unique charm and flavour to both original and cover songs, and a delightfully wicked partnership with musical collaborator Major Scales.
Fresh from her crowning as Queen of All Queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars, Jinkx takes to the stage to remind us of why she is deserving of the very title. Fusing comic skits with Major Scales, Jinkx-ified takes on classic pop songs, and renditions of her own original numbers, Jinkx shows us exactly why she is the premiere internationally tolerated drag superstar.
As She’s Still Got It! kicks off, Jinkx and Major Scales have some disagreements regarding the direction of the tone. Scales insisting that Jinkx should be providing an evening of upbeat song, the drag talent instead opting for songs centred on death and destruction. The playful bickering between the pair makes for dynamite comic combination, with the audience feeling like a fly on the wall at one of the pair’s studio sessions. The humour continues throughout with Scales pragmatically trying to moderate Jinkx’s comedic pill-popping, heavy-drinking and delightfully scandalous behaviour throughout.
Jinkx delights with some original numbers, a highlight being Cartoons and Vodka from her The Ginger Snapped album. The singer shares that the animated video for the project which pays homage to classic 90s cartoons, noting that it will be played at every single one of her shows given its extortionate price tag. Conjuring up an atmosphere of classic cabaret thanks to immaculate piano accompaniment from her musical coordinator, Jinkx provides laughs in spoken-word interludes centred on a rich variety of bawdy topics.
An elegant rendition of Sondheim’s I Never Do Anything Twice makes a familiar number for musical theatre fans, whilst Jinkx reminds us she has done something twice – a nod to her double Drag Race crowns. There is some healthy social commentary regarding the USA’s backwards bathroom laws regarding non-cisgender citizens, capturing her home country’s ill-treatment of transgender people. This is paired with a smoky rendition of Just Me (The Gender Binary Blues) which packs a jazzy mardi gras flavour, whilst mirroring her earlier monologue in lines such as “For whatever reason, we all get to have our say, But respect for which everybody begs, Is hard to find with people, so concerned with, what’s between our legs…”
Jinkx provides some further laughs in her bawdy celebration of raunchiness, giving the audience blanket consent to send her dick pics on Grindr, whilst also celebrating chlamydia as a vital part of entering the world of sexual liberation. This moment is heightened by Jinkx’s response to an audience member near hysterical at this comic bit. Jinkx isn’t one to suffer fools gladly, with a endearing command over her audience noting that a sole clapper is simply just an interruption, with a wickedly playful glee.
Jinkx Monsson draws us into her sharply debauched cabaret wonderland with well-crafted comic musings and elegant moments of song. Jinkx’s original music shines through its wit and jazzy vaudeville appeal, whilst her takes on classic theatre standards and pop cuts impress. Her partnership with Major Scales is a stellar one with the pair bringing an infectious charisma to the spiegeltent – and there’s even a little bit of Judy Garland.
Jinkx Monsoon: She’s Still Got It! (With Major Scales) runs until August 18th. Get your tickets here.
Lead photo: Magnus Hastings