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February 24, 2005 Find Print Edition : Search : Archive : Login : Register

Anti American Idol

TraniWreck ups the ante for Boston's drag scene

The Traniwreck crew
The Traniwreck crew

February 20 marked the beginning of a monthly event that ups the ante for Boston's drag scene. Truth Serum Productions has taken the concept behind TraniWreck-the monthly all gender/all genre variety show at Jacque's Cabaret-and created a competition as unlike American Idol as a talent show is ever likely to be.

Jacque's will host Wreckage the third Monday of each month through September, with each contest pitting one TraniWreck cast member against amateur performers for $50 and an invitation to move forward to the final show and its $500 prize. Each contestant performs two five-minute sets that are judged on creativity/concept, costuming, presentation, craft/skill, and audience response, with the winner and first runner-up moving forward to the final contest.

The first group of contestants included Belinda Davenport, the Trash Habit duo, Walker Scott/Nomi Sparks, Miss Dominica K, and Windsor Newton, and each of the two sets of competitive performances were flanked by numbers from Jacque's regular Ashley Michelle, TraniWreck star Donita Roxx/Sir Loins, and host Heywood Wakefield. The professional performances were entertaining and varied, but, appropriately, the contestants were the highlight of the show.

First up was Belinda Davenport, a sometimes Jacque's performer who must be one of the more frightening individuals to have ever taken that stage. Her various costumes included a red leopard-print bikini; a black dominatrix teddy, Diana Ross hair, and makeup that would make KISS proud; and a final non-competition getup that is the thing of horror flicks' dark alleys.

Trash Habit, who placed second, have come together to create something one might expect of SNL. In color-coordinated garb, the two women moved about the room, falling over one another and audience members, first as drunken tennis players and later as drunken robots, apparently to everyone's delight, judging by the volume of wadded-up dollars flying through the air.

The third contestant was drag king/high-femme Walker Scott/Nomi Sparks, who as Walker Scott was described by the judges as a "Latino Kenny G meets Cheech" and who as Nomi Sparks performed "Wig in a Box" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

The TraniWreck competitor was Miss Dominica K, whose baton-twirling acts leave the impression of a drug-addled majorette in the ranks of an otherwise wholesome marching band, but it was the final competitor, Windsor Newton, who stole the show. After making audience members laugh until they wept with her first number-a tribute to the foot fetish acted out upon a very accommodating audience member-she returned to the stage to lip-sync an over-the-top medley of songs about sex with the devil and the Salem witch trials, pouring an audience member's drink into her eyes to simulate tears that smeared her mascara down to her jawline. The outré Ms. Newton was the night's big winner, which by itself is reason enough to catch the September finale.

In the meantime, though, you're unlikely to find a more amusing way to spend a Monday night than watching people toss aside their inhibitions to find out who is Boston's Biggest Wreck.

Ryan Lindsey covers the club scene for Bay Windows.

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