Monét X Change brings an hour long spectacle to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, fusing humorous storytelling with song in her solo show Life Be Lifein. The RuPaul’s Drag Race talent fills the Underbelly’s McEwan Hall to share her anecdotal musing, intrusive thoughts and journey from her school days to present day success.
Fans of Monét will be well versed with her RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars talent show performance, where the performer dazzled worldwide audiences with her operatic bass-baritone vocals. Preparing to share these vocals with the Fringe audience, Monét begins to deliver her operatic rendition, before deciding we should know her backstory.
Life Be Lifein opens with a delicate piano melody, the audience wait with baited breath for Monét’s powerhouse vocals, yet the star cuts off before introducing them – on multiple occasions. It is a gag that the star repeats multiple times throughout, with the star introducing her anecdotes just before starting the song, edging the audience with this expected showstopping performance. Thankfully Monét is as impressive a raconteur as she is singer so these anecdotes are undeniable satisfying in Monét’s spectacular comic timing, and the star’s honest, self-deprecating, and straightforward approach to life.
Monét traces the story back to her school days, where she recounts her first love, Ricardo. Ricardo was a bad boy and aspiring member of the Crips. Monét humorously recounts her childhood crush on this straight-boy, before delving into a devastating on-stage accident in front of the object of her affection. Monét impresses in her ability to poke fun at herself and commands an impressive storytelling ability, taking the invested audience along for the ride through her personal history.
After another false musical start, Monét delves into her time at Princeton studying music. Nights out at a local karaoke bar pull more of the focus, where the star wowed with her Dreamgirls numbers. As Monét recounts her college experience, she intersperses comic impressions of incredibly white college staff (one advisor belting out Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back is particularly fun).
The star soon goes on to recount her experiences on Drag Race – more than willing to poke fun at her now legendary sponge dress on season ten, before later sharing experiences of All Stars and her friendship with co-winner Trinity the Tuck (complete with Monét’s take on her southern accent). Between Drag Race experiences, Monét explores the emotional core of Life Be Lifein, her relationship with former boyfriend Sam. Monét is not afraid to be vulnerable in these moments – taking us with her on the ups and downs of her romantic journey.
Monét brings proceedings to a close with some musings on self-love and self-belief, delivered with a real sincerity. A musical medley delving into Britney and Jennifer Hudson classics gives us a snippet of Monét’s college years in the karaoke bars and brings proceedings to an uplifting high energy finish.
Whether existing fan or new fan, Life Be Lifein will leave audiences truly charmed with Monét X Change. Her sharp wit, enchanting storytelling ability, and rich vocals provide a joyously uplifting evening of entertainment.
Monét X Change: Life Be Lifein runs until August 15th. Get tickets here.