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Tina Burner: 5, 6, Several 8’s!

Photo: @thegingerb3ardmen

Review by Steve Desroches

If you love Broadway, but have grown tired of jukebox musicals, stunt celebrity casting, and uninspired revivals (not to mention stratospheric ticket prices) then Tina Burner is your gal, and 5, 6, Several 8’s! is the show for you. Best known from season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race Tina Burner was already a star in New York City prior to being cast on the pop-culture phenomenon. And now in her second summer-long run in Provincetown Burner is distinguishing herself as one to watch in the town’s storied and esteemed drag scene with a show that extinguishes the flames of reality TV for the opportunities of not just live performance, but of the chance to really do a deep dive into all things drag, as there are few locales that support the art form like Provincetown. With 5, 6, Several 8’s! Burner presents a rollicking fun drag show with the jazzy energy of a drama club enthusiast, but with the edge of a Manhattan queen and the playful kindness of a true pro.

The conceit of the show is a lampooning and a dressing down of what has become of Broadway. And the narrative and jokes begin at the door where audience members are given an issue of Gaybill, a quip on the theatrical magazine Playbill, upon arrival. While Burner takes the perch of the cultural figure that is a gay Broadway fan, anyone with a deep love for musical theater will appreciate this revival in the Church of Patti LuPone. While the critique is serious, the show is anything but, with songs and mash-ups like “Don’t Rain on My Lesbian Parade,” “MAGA: Anything Goes,” and “Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, I’m Gay,” with the last song being a sneak peek into the original musical Farmyard Follies written by Burner and her musical director and accompanist Blake Allen. Not to get too cerebral, as 5, 6, Several 8’s! is non-stop entertainment and drag at its best, but at the core of any good theatrical presentation is a story with a soul. And this show manages to deftly hammer away at what we lose when something as important as Broadway goes corporate and obsesses with the bottom line and in turn stops taking risks, as well as when a country rewards those who attract attention rather than those that perfect a craft.

The sold-out, post-Carnival crowd in attendance at the Crown and Anchor’s Wave Bar lapped up every moment of the show, which is a mixture of impressive live vocals and comedic and judiciously chosen lip-synchs that drive home the joke. Burner plays that room like a champ, metaphorically crowd-surfing every laugh until its natural crest and wowing everyone with costume changes and reveals worthy of a drag superstar. A night with Tina Burner is a surefire good time.

Tina Burner: 5, 6, Several 8’s! is at the Crown & Anchor, 247 Commercial St., Saturday through Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. now through September 12. Tickets ($35/$45) are available at the box office and online at For more information call 508.487.1430.

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Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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