Ginger Minj: Mary, Did You Know

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By Jordan Cohen

 

Self-described “Glamour Toad” and RuPaul’s Drag Race favorite Ginger Minj hit the Laurie Beechman stage this weekend in “Mary, Did You Know?,” her new show dedicated to “spilling the T” – that is, sharing all the juicy gossip – about Christmases spent growing up gay and fabulous in a religious southern family. Surprisingly, the show’s best moments were its touching and sincere ones, like when Ginger spoke sweetly about her mother’s unconditional love or confessed that she hated her father who abandoned the family when he was still a boy.

 

Ginger rose to prominence as a finalist on Season 7 of Drag Race and was recently brought back for Season 2 of Drag Race All-Stars where, disappointingly, she was left early on. She’s well-liked for her comedy chops, zingy one-liners, but also for her approachable and cheery demeanor. Unfortunately, most of the comedic elements of her show failed to land, despite some funny lyric changes in classics like “Jingle Bells” (which she changed to “X-mas Ham”), “Silver Bells,” and “Let it Snow” and a few successful moments of banter with her two back-ups, Michael and Jeanine.

 

Her opening sketch in which the trio, as wise (cracking) men, were in search of the newborn baby Jesus didn’t really go anywhere despite a couple of worthy puns. The performance gained some steam when they started spilling the T: one of her back-ups would make some wild claim about Ginger’s past, then Ginger would chime in to fill in the holes or correct the record (Michael and Jeanine had a few of their own spill the T moments, as well).

 

One of the more effective stories detailed Ginger’s early obsession with the Wicked Witch of the East: as a young boy, he would lay out his mother’s negligee and pumps as if a house had fallen on them. It wasn’t long before Ginger started trying on her mother’s clothes – and his father began pulling away. One year, when all he wanted for Christmas were ruby red slippers, his mother surprised him with a pair and said that they were “so special we shouldn’t tell your father about them.” Ginger’s deep affection and appreciation for her mother shined brightly as she sang her next song, “If Mama Meets Jesus Tonight.”

 

Another of the evening’s bright spots came when RuPaul fan favorite, Jiggly Caliente, joined Ginger onstage for a fun, off-the-cuff gossip/catch-up session. Jiggly’s sass and self-deprecating style was a nice match for Ginger, although it took a bit of time for the pair to meet each other’s rhythms and get a conversation rolling. The problem of timing and momentum which marred the first half of Jiggly’s segment seemed to find its way into much of the performance and, ultimately, the fifty-five minute show never really found a strong footing.

 

“Ginger Minj: Mary, Did You Know”

December 2-4

Laurie Beechman Theatre, downstairs at the West Bank Café

www.SpinCycleNYC.com

212-352-3101

Photos: Mike Windle

 

 

 

 

 

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