by Rebecca M. Alvin
Every summer, the sleepy, chilly streets of Provincetown reawaken to the glamour and sparkle of drag queens barking for their shows, posing for pictures with tourists, and entertaining all. Whether they are high-glamour queens, family-friendly queens, or hilarious queens hurling one-liners at you faster than a speeding bullet, these are the ladies of the evening that light up the nights all summer long. But Dina Martina is an entirely unique entertainer. She’s all of these things wrapped into one, with a brilliant mind disguised by a trainwreck look and a manner that can only be described as oddly wholesome.
Dina’s new show, Creme de la Dregs, is certainly one of the funniest in town. The theme this year is the 1980s, and Dina treats us to all sorts of nostalgia for that bygone era of excess, innocuous pop songs, and big hair. With her trademark optimism and earnestness and a delightful ability to play with language through her awkward pronunciations and misuse of words, Dina manages to bring you into her world and hold you there. She regales you with stories of her youth, good old Grandma Martina, and the curious world of earthquake clowns. Another, just as side-splittingly funny aspect to the show is her truly surreal videos. This year, Dina’s head superimposed onto various bodies, entertains us with some of our favorite music videos from the 1980s.
Some drag comedians have a razor edge, with cutting barbs, dirty jokes, and a cynical view of the world, but what I like most about Dina Martina’s show is that, despite her outrageous appearance, Dina is always joyful and approachable. Her love for the town— Provence-town, as she says—shows through from the moment she walks out on stage in her revealing ensemble. Everything she does, whether dancing in the aisles, hitting all the high notes in all the wrong ways, or making us laugh with a single raised eyebrow, is done to bring joy and humor to her audiences.
The night I went, the room was packed with Dina devotees, as well as a few newbies who had a look of horror pasted firmly on their faces for most of the show. The audience reactions are actually vital additions to the show, as the simultaneous shock and awe at and jovial familiarity with the character make the atmosphere all the more hilarious. Now, more than ever, we all need a little more Dina Martina in our lives.
Dina Martina performs in Creme de la Dregs Thursdays through Sundays, 8:30 p.m. in the Cabaret Room at the Crown & Anchor, 247 Commercial St., Provincetown. For tickets ($30) and information, go to the box office, call 508.487.1430, or visit onlyatthecrown.com.