pal joey

PHOTOS: Arias With A Twist Touches Down in New York City


Starting tonight, Joey Arias returns to New York City with his popular show Arias with a Twist, a madcap fantasy featuring Arias’ unique song stylings and a menagerie of marionettes under the keen direction of outré puppeteer Basil Twist.

Arias, who originated the role of the emcee in the Vegas Cirque du Soleil extravaganza, Zumanity, got his start in downtown New York in the early 80s, where he attended a party hosted by Andy Warhol and budding art stars Kenny Scharf, Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. As Arias tells Out magazine, “I was a drag party—I had this big red wig on and tits out to here.” The enamored partygoers told Arias he never needed to wear men’s clothing again.

We wouldn’t call Arias a drag queen though—and neither would he. “I’m not a drag queen—I’m a goddess.  Some people say, ‘Oh she’s a diva.’ But a diva still needs things—a goddess is above it all.”

Apropos of such a divine creature, Arias’ costumes for the Arias with a Twist tour were created by legendary designer Thierry Mugler.


Arias with a Twist runs at Abron Arts Center Sept 18–Oct 15.


Photography by Steven Menendez

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  • ian

    i still remember Joey singing backup to David Bowie on the 1979 SNL xmas show along with Klaus Nomi and he was featured around the same time in a little news item by the inimitable Jeanie Mos(sp?) as a live mannequin in some NYC department store; Barney’s maybe? Lord the dumb and pointless sh*t I remember.

  • Guillermo3

    Interesting,Exotic,obviouxly Theatrical,but drags have ver appealed to me

  • BerateThis

    “I’m a goddess” What a dork.

  • randall

    I saw this show at Redcat in LA. This is not a ‘drag show’ and Arias is not a dork. Who uses that word? The show is sensational. The songs and the puppeteering is phenomenal. Joey Arias is a goddess and this show proves it.

  • Loren

    Joey is a legend. Love the Billie Holiday sound……fantastic. He still looks incredible.

    And I smiled reading the fact that someone else remembers him from the Klaus Nomi/David Bowie SNL musical performance. How about the great performance of the “Cold Song” on “Deneuve”……can’t believe she had a show!

    If you are reading this Joey, which I doubt you are… are the executor of the estate of Klaus Nomi. I would give one of my fangs to see a lovely limited edition coffee table book of your life with Klaus. I mean I would be in Nomi Nirvana. Please, please, please do this! The documentary about Klaus was horrible…….you were his mate.
    Your story and his must be incredible!

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