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Review: The Wonderful World of Drag

by: James Judd

Paige Turner is tearing up the Post Office Café & Cabaret with The Wonderful World of Drag. The title is a play on The Wonderful World of Disney, and Turner is a singing guide to the classic songs and characters that influenced (or triggered) him as a child. The new lyrics, however, would probably kill Walt Disney all over again. They’ve been changed to reflect the more R-rated world view of this top-tier NYC musical theater queen. Hypocrisy, sex, big life questions, and queerness run through the new rhymes in familiar tunes. They are also pleasantly sung. Turner, who sings all her songs live, has the trained voice of musical theater pro. 

The creation of Daniel Kelly, Indiana-native and graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Turner works every inch of the tight stage in her sensibly low-heeled character shoes. She twirls through quick-changes and works the Post Office’s lone aisle with panache. There are also well-produced video segues between longer costume and story changes. The juxtaposition of Turner’s polish and the Post Office’s summer-camp ambiance generates a combustible anything-can-happen vibe that works in the show’s favor.

Punchlines fly faster here than Tinkerbell dodging a flyswatter. Turner mostly speaks in a tumble of words that can fly right over you if you aren’t paying rapt attention. Almost before you can register one joke she’s moved onto the next and the one after that. There is a superfluity of asides, those off-script moments of meta commentary on what’s going through her mind. It’s as if she doesn’t trust us to stay engaged if we aren’t constantly laughing. Turner is immensely watchable and the audience at the performance I saw was wholly swept up in the ride. It would be exciting to see what she could do in an elevated moment of drama or even silence.  

Turner’s banter and lyrics also contain a few references to the burden thrust upon drag artists who have not yet appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Those lucky queens are showered with lucrative opportunities simply for having been part of the television show. Meanwhile, a queen who has conquered NYC but not the Drag Race casting office is unfairly relegated to an undeserved second-tier status. It’s become de rigueur for non-Drag Race queens to address the situation in their shows. Turner could easily hold her own among the television queens. Regardless, Provincetown audiences are more apt to judge drag artists on merit, not on Instagram followers, and the audience clapping, cheering, and singing along with Turner were unbothered by her lack of Drag Race credentials.  The Wonderful World of Drag with Paige Turner is performed Mondays, Wednesdays at 7pm, Fridays, and Saturdays, 8:30 p.m. at Post Office Café & Cabaret, 303 Commercial St. For tickets ($40VIP/$35 General Admission) and information, call 508.487.0008, come to the box office, or visit

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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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