Jinkx Monsoon was dubbed the first-ever “Queen of All Queens” after becoming the only contestant to win two seasons of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Now, she’s focused on conquering her Broadway debut as the first drag queen to step into the shoes of Matron “Mama” Morton in “Chicago.”
On the latest episode of “The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal,” Monsoon chats with Paul Wontorek about her journey from RuPaul’s runway to the Cook County Jail.
Monsoon first won the reality competition in 2013, which thrust her into the public eye and opened doors to numerous performing opportunities. She returned nearly 10 years later for the recent “All Stars” Season 7, the first in which all of the contestants had won a previous season of “Drag Race.” Monsoon told Wontorek that, throughout it all, she’s been putting her dream of debuting on Broadway into the universe.
“This feels like exactly the right role, the right show, at the right time for me and I am so thrilled,” she said.
Monsoon, who described herself as a “dive bar drag queen,” has appeared in the Off-Broadway production of “The Vaudevillians,” toured alongside fellow contestant BenDeLaCreme in the “Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show” and traveled with her own original cabarets since her initial run on “Drag Race.” But, as she shared, the nerves on Broadway are different. Monsoon said she’s been able to quell the jitters thanks to the people who surround her.
“The production team of ‘Chicago,’ they trust me and — I know what I’m doing — but they truly treat me like I’ve been there the whole time,” she shared. “These people have faith in me and that’s what’s keeping the nerves at bay. That’s what’s fighting the imposter syndrome, is that I trust the team … and they don’t seem worried at all.”
The “Drag Race” star was also keen to share her advice to others in theater, drag and beyond.
“I want to tell every young artist who might be watching this that if you are patient and tenacious and if you continue to work in the field that you love even as you’re waiting for the dream gig, it’s still time well spent,” Monsoon said. “You never know when it’s going to come, and, if you’re patient, the perfect thing might come. And you’ll be so glad it took 10 years.”
This week’s episode of “The Broadway Show” also features interviews with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jesse Williams, both appearing in “Take Me Out” through Feb. 5. Writer Anthony McCarten, represented on Broadway with “The Collaboration” and “A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical,” sat down with Beth Stevens for a new Building Broadway segment. Viewers can catch a glimpse of the upcoming New York City Center transfer of “Parade,” starring Ben Platt and Micaela Diamond, and the forthcoming Broadway arrival of “Peter Pan Goes Wrong.”
“The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal” airs on weekends. Check your local listings for air time and channel.