Trixie Mattel @ Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide 9/2/2019

Fans of Ru Paul’s Drag Race would be familiar with Barbie-inspired Trixie Mattel a season seven contestant and winner of All Stars season three. Currently touring Australia for the umpteenth time but in her first full length solo show, the Skinny Legend touched down in Adelaide to perform at Thebarton Theatre.

With a fifteen minute introductory set by Karen from Finance who was tragically fired from her job in finance, the raucous crowd were sufficiently warmed up for the Queen we came to see. A short animated film began the main show and then the legend herself entered the stage to rapturous applause.

Dressed in a hot pink full length body suit with breast fringe and purple sequined colossal “wizard” sleeves, Trixie Mattel sauntered on stage like the Queen that she is. Her aesthetic beauty was undeniable and throughout her performance, the beauty of her personality was revealed as well.

What you saw on Drag Race with Mattel was certainly not what she exhibited on the Thebby stage. Despite winning the All Stars crown in 2018 there was a vulnerability she exposed during that competition; a shyness. This vulnerability and shyness were noticeably absent during her Skinny Legend performance instead replaced by strength and confidence. Mattel was performing on her terms and was in her element and she made it abundantly known.

The Skinny Legend tour was touted as an all-ages event, and indeed the audience consisted of a six-year-old to the blue rise set. However, all ages it certainly was not. Knowing Mattel’s work away from Drag Race this really should not have come as a surprise to anyone. The comedy content was high on adult themes with topics including anal sex, sexuality, rectal exams and murder all weighing in at one stage. The consistent element throughout the evening was, however, sheer hilarity. There is just no doubting that Mattel is naturally comical. She attempted to stick to her script and at times had to check her place in it, but many tangents equally as humorous were taken with random stories about birds and other arbitrariness occurring. Mattel’s astonishment at Adelaide’s low lying flight path to the nearby airport caused her to pause and discuss it with everyone on more than one occasion. This was a testament to her comfort on the stage and with the audience. Whilst she was void of vulnerability, she was filled with a genuineness that was expressed via these breaks in routine. That genuineness together with her undeniable talent was a highlight of the performance.

As well as being a comedian Mattel is a musician having topped the Billboard Heatseekers chart in 2018. So, her performance consisted of a synthesis of comedy and music with multiple musical numbers fused within the two Act routine. With guitar in hands, she opened the show with a number about the fact that “I’ve already got your money” hence doesn’t care if you’re offended by the content of the show. She later sung about “Steve Buscemi Eyes” and her sister with a song entitled Little Sister that was accompanied by the delightful autoharp.

A fifteen-minute intermission followed before Mattel returned to the stage post-wardrobe change into a dazzling pink American Indian costume complete with a hot pink floor length faux feather headdress. Musical interludes in this Act included a rendition of Colours of the Wind played on a pink Clarinet and an impromptu inclusion of a new, unreleased song Yellow Cloud. Finally, with the assistance of audience member Talicia who absolutely slayed both Bebe Zahara Benet’s verse and Mattel’s own verse, the All Stars 3 version of Kitty Girl wrapped up the show on a high.

For those naysayers, or Shangela fans, who feel the All Stars 3 crown went to the wrong Queen, it’s only because you haven’t seen Mattel in her natural environment on the stage performing her own material. The Skinny Legend tour proved once and for all that Trixie Mattel was, is and always shall be an All Star.

Live Review by Anita Kertes

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