Whatever happened to Jinkx Monsoon, Seattle’s premiere Jewish narcoleptic drag queen? You know, the one that won the fifth season of that show RuPaul’s Drag Race. Remember that? Whatever happened to her?
Well, it’s been forty years since her fateful victory, and she’s been performing for an empty house at the dilapidated and run-down Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles with her aging drag mother Peaches Christ…
…or so begins Return to Grey Gardens, the original stage show inspired by Grey Gardens, starring Drag Race darling Jinkx Monsoon as Little Jinkxy and the legendary Peaches Christ as Big Peachy. Following a brief and well-received run at the Castro Theatre in San Fracisco, the queens make their Los Angeles debut this weekend for one night only at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.
Written and directed by Peaches Christ, the drag-driven stage musical is totally hilarious, totally entertaining, and totally the S-H-I-T. As Jinkx herself says, “come ready for WAY more than you bargained for.” You can grab a pair of tickets before they sell out here.
We sat down with the Jinkx Monsoon and caught up on what to expect from the show, life since Drag Race, and who she’s rooting for in season 6:
Jinkx Monsoon: Well, Peaches always writes her shows for the queens in them. This lends itself to be a parody rather than a strict re-telling of the movie. We play ourselves, 40 years in the future, after doing four decades worth of “Return to Grey Gardens.” Over the years, the lines have blurred between our true selves, and the characters we portray. At the point where the show starts, Peaches and I have basically degraded into real life, drag versions of the Edies. I think it’s hilarious.
Q: Yes girl, we’re counting on it. Speaking of Peaches — did you ever think you’d someday perform among the ranks of drag legends like her?
JM: Well I had certainly always hoped to. When I first saw Peaches’ work, it was during her “All About Evil” tour. I sat there and watched her movie in a stunned silence (whenever I wasn’t cackling) because I was so impressed by the caliber of her work. I knew then and there, I wanted to work with her someday. Lucky me!
Q: Your character, Little Jinkxy, is obviously heavily inspired by Little Edie Beale. Did you ever think your role as her in the Snatch Game last year would single-handedly revive the gay community’s interest in her?
JM: No, I actually thought the opposite! I thought far fewer people would have such a reaction to the performance. I knew there would be plenty of people who didn’t know her. But I didn’t know that the number of people who DID would be far greater. The day after Snatch Game, the internet blew up with searches, purchases, and downloads of all things related to Little Edie. I was shocked.
Q: After all you’ve done for her legacy, what would you say to Little Edie if she were alive today?
JM: I would thank her for sharing her story. It’s not easy to open up in front of a camera and let the whole world in on your life. But it’s amazing when that openness inspires people to do incredible things. I would like to think Edie and I would be friends. Two ducks in a pond.
Q: You’ve always said your dream was to perform as a stage actor. Is it safe to say you’ve made your dreams come true?
JM: Yes! Many things this year have felt like a dream come true. But I’m a very tenacious person. I’m always reaching for the next project. I like to work and I like to be busy, so I’m looking forward to seeing what roles and projects come my way this year.
JM: Well, I think I have a new confidence in myself, whether I’m in drag or not. Now that I focus my life on my passion and my art, I feel more alive and free than I ever did before.
Q: And girl, you know we have to ask the inevitable. Who are you rooting for on this season of Drag Race?
Of course I’m rooting for Ben, but there are definitely a lot of great girls this year. I’m adoring Adore. Bianca is in CHARGE and I love it. And Courtney is one of the more versatile queens I’ve seen on Drag Race. I was very sad to see Milk go. :(
Q: So what’s next for Jinkx?
JM: This spring, we launch “The Inevitable Album,” my first full-length feature album with songs by my music partner, Major Scales, and myself. I’m terribly excited and hope this will be the first of many albums.
Check out the trailer for Return to Grey Gardens below. To snag a pair of tickets for the Saturday, April 5 performance, visit PeachesChrist.com: