New York City's Lady Rizo is the most refined and talented drag queen I've ever seen, so it makes no difference whatsoever that SHE'S NOT REALLY A DRAG QUEEN AT ALL. It's every-inch a real girl under that exquisite chenille dress, and nothing but X chromosomes fuel her dazzling skills.
This came as something of a shock at first, but you can hardly blame me for thinking that The Lady—a true paragon of femininity if ever there one was—was a boy in a dress. That charm! That elegance! Those EYELASHES! (A foot-long each, I swear on the grave of Divine!) How many among the realest of women could ever boast such glamour and mystique, mixed with a perfect shot of sly, winking naughtiness, and dusted with unabashed sexy? It was a stupid mistake on my part, but not an entirely unreasonable one. She routinely plays the drag cabarets (the first time I saw her perform—unforgettable!—was at Bacon Strip, for goodness' sake), and among our people, she's getting bigger than a big gay barn dance. (And oh! When I consider the hours I've wasted imagining how adorable she must be as a boy... damn you, confusing and futile longings!)
The Lady is famed for what she calls "caburlesque"—a sassy and polished miscegenation of vaudeville, performance art, cabaret, comedy, and top-drawer crooning. She's gotten a lot of well-deserved ink lately: the Voice; the New York Times, New York magazine, Men's Vogue... she's even recorded with Moby (who adores her) and recently won a Grammy for a duet with Yo-Yo Ma. It only makes sense that she should finally release her first album of singles, featuring vintage arrangements, "theatrical explorations" of pop songs from every decade, and tons of new material. And so she has—the album dropped on April 12. This release, of course, comes with a coinciding fabulous West Coast tour—and tonight, The Lady belongs to us. Two nights only! Fred Wildlife Refuge, Sat 9 pm, Sun 8 pm, $20, 21+.