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A Major Monsoon

September 6, 2017 5:00 am0 commentsViews: 176

Jinkx-Monsoon-and-Major-Scalesby Steve Desroches

There’s a gaggle of people waiting outside the Art House, laughing and talking about the weather, where to get the best lobster roll in Provincetown, and their collective disbelief that summer is coming to a close. But all the while, they keep an eye on the door to the theater they just exited after watching Return to Grey Gardens, the theatrical drag spoof starring Peaches Christ and Jinkx Monsoon.  It’s clear that while some are waiting to see both stars, some in the crowd are “Monsooniacs,” devotees of the drag superstar. And they envelop her as she exits the theater with a calm slide and a smooth smile. It’s clear that this crowd has seen not only this show, but also her other offering this summer, The Ginger Snapped, which she performs with Major Scales, multiple times.

While Monsoon is knee-deep in adulation, Scales sits in the 1620 Brewhouse sipping a drink as he, too, answers question after question from a fan who recognizes him as he’s leaving a tip on the bar. Winner of season five of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Monsoon had the springboard of television to catapult her into stardom. But the two worked together long before RuPaul came calling and quickly parlayed an individual win into a spectacular partnership as they hit the road with their smash hit show The Vaudevillians, eventually landing in Provincetown four years ago.

“We always wanted to end up here,” says Monsoon. “It just happened 10 years sooner than we expected. We were given this big opportunity to be in Provincetown and have felt so supported by the Art House and the town since we first arrived.”

“That’s what we’re most grateful for,” says Scales. “There are not many places like Provincetown. Not at all.”

The two begin to speak at the same time and reach harmony when they say the word “magic” in unison to describe Provincetown. They work hard. Really hard. But after years of being on the road, working day jobs, and chasing a dream, their vision of being full-time artists largely came true here. Having a place they can land for several months while an ever-changing and diverse audience assembles night after night gives them not only a chance to grow, but the stability to take risks. And The Ginger Snapped showcased just how a place like Provincetown can inspire and foster artists.

As the summer run comes to a close, with just a few shows left this coming weekend, Monsoon and Scales are thrilled as their second album named after this season’s show will be released later this month, featuring not just the music heard in The Ginger Snapped, but also several other tracks. Most of the compositions and lyrics are done by Scales, but this album also features the first writing credits for Monsoon as the two college roommates continue their creative partnership. And they expanded their glam rock net to feature guest artists Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls, Fred Schneider of the B-52’s, and Afterglow Festival star Lady Rizo (who graces the cover of this week’s magazine).

The summer isn’t even over yet, but the two are already like whirling dervishes of imagination as they prepare for next summer, and likely many more to come, as they have enough concrete ideas to fill a decade of shows. One would think that after a summer working as hard as they do their minds would be on rest, but they feel more energized than ever to keep creating, as Provincetown keeps begging for more. They are as enchanted with this fabled town as it is with them.

“I can’t think of anywhere that feels like Provincetown,” says Scales. “It’s got that small-town quality, but is home to so much amazing theater.”

“We don’t take for granted how special this town is,” says Monsoon. “We’ll be here, both in Provincetown and the Art House, for as long as you let us be part of it.”

Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales present The Ginger Snapped Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10 at 9 p.m. at the Art House, 214 Commercial St., Provincetown.  Tickets ($30-$75) are available at the box office and online at ptownarthouse.com. Jinkx Monsoon also appears in Return to Grey Gardens with Peaches Christ Thursday, September 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets ($30-$75) are also available at the Art House box office and online. For more information call 508.487.9222. The new album is available online at iTunes and Amazon.com.