They call it “War on the Catwalk,” but when that drag-queen showcase hits The Paramount in Huntington on Friday, July 14, the second stop on a 37-city tour, it’ll be more like “Armistice on the Catwalk,” as former competitors from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 9 peacefully coexist.
“I love all these girls,” says co-host and performer Trinity Taylor, neé Ryan Taylor, 32, one of the four finalists on the recently concluded season, where Sasha Velour took the crown. “I have a strong bond with all these girls. It’s like a sorority or high-school reunion. Because in true competition you’re not competing with the other girls but with yourself to do the best you can do. It’s hard to compare someone like [runner-up] Peppermint and Sasha and myself in the same way because our drag is each different. The judges judge each entertainer individually.”
Sasha, neé Sasha Steinberg, will be among the 10 core performers on the tour, along with fellow season 9 alumni Aja (Jay Rivera), Alexis Michelle (Alex Michaels), Eureka aka Eureka O’Hara (David Huggard), Farrah Moan (Cameron Clayton), Kimora Blac (Von Nguyen), Nina Bo’nina Brown (Pierre Leverne Dease) and Shea Couleé (Jaren Merrell), along with co-host Trixie Mattel (Brian Firkus) from season 7.
“Some of the girls aren’t in all the tour dates because they had previous bookings,” Taylor explains. “Every girl will be doing certain dates. I’ll be there the majority of the dates.” The tour begins in New Haven on Thursday and continues to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sept. 19. “We’re going places where maybe they don’t get a chance to see RuPaul girls often,” she says.
The show allows each of the performers to excerpt from her own longer solo acts. “It’s us doing what we do,” Taylor says, “each entertainer doing a show that represents who they are. I do lip-sync performances. Sasha will do a lot of visual stuff with her projections. Eureka will do something funny. Each person has a shtick.”
Taylor, who grew up in Springville, Alabama, about a half-hour outside Birmingham, has been performing for 14 years, though it was only after appearing on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” that her career took off. A makeup artist by profession, “There had been several times where I didn’t need a day job and only did drag,” she says. “And sometimes I would get a day job not because I needed the money but because I loved doing it. Going into the show I had a day job and after I got back around early September I had a day job, but I decided to drop it because I didn’t have time anymore.”
In addition to her own touring schedule, “I just did a tour overseas kind of similar to what we’re doing here. That was called Werk the World.”
Werk? “Werk is drag lingo. Like, ‘Werk it, girl!’ ”
And she does, if her busy schedule is any indication. As for which songs she’ll be lip-syncing to on tour, Taylor remains mum. “I don’t wanna give away all the goodies!”