Who doesn't enjoy a refreshing cosmo? Who doesn't have questions about the universe? Who doesn't love a comedy queen? Luckily for us, RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6 alum BenDeLeCreme expertly mixes science, humor, drag, and lo-fi sci-fi effects into a perfectly whimsical confection with her new show Cosmos, which returns to The Laurie Beechman in New York City Oct. 8-10.
Kicking the show off with her own big bang, BenDeLeCreme showcases her comedic chops singing newly scribed space inspired lyrics to the tune of Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj's "Bang Bang" (Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Rickard Goransson, Onika Maraj). Having warmed the audience with this hysterical bit, BenDeLeCreme explains that even though her Cosmos is inspired by the 2014 TV show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey she has not actually seen the popular documentary. (But who doesn't love a cosmo?) She is then joined by her special guest, Neil deGlass Tyson--her very own talking cosmo!
To get into the spirit of the show, BenDeLeCreme transitions from her stunningly gorgeous pageant dress drag to something more flirty--a skin-tight, hot pink get-up that is mostly Judy Jetson with a sprinkle of Raquel Welch in The Fantastic Voyage. With a witty pun a second, BenDeLeCreme takes us on a journey through the stars. We meet hipster bear Ursa Major, militant lesbian Sirius, and a collapsed star that is fashioned after Gloria Swanson as Nora Desmond.
Yet, space isn't BenDeLeCreme's final frontier. Like those plucky scientists in The Fantastic Voyage, she takes us on a journey through the microscopic as well. We are introduced to an array of atoms, each with personalities of their own. Naturally, this paves the road for "Dr. DeLa's Biology and You... and Biology," in which Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" (Freddie Perren, Dino Fekaris) gets a lyrical update to explain how nature favors certain genetic mutations to ensure that species evolve.
The piece de resistance of the whole evening though is BenDeLeCreme's lengthy dance solo in which she evolves from a fish to a leopard-print clad cave woman breaking out '50s mod dance moves with reckless abandon. Taking the stage in elaborate costumes, BenDeLeCreme literally takes audiences through millions of years of evolution. Whether twirling as a fish, stomping about as a dinosaur, or discovering lipstick in the marrow of a broken bone, she keeps her tongue firmly planted in her cheek and has the audience howling with laughter and applauding each look after fabulous look.
Beneath the sugar crystals on the rim of this perfectly blended production, BenDeLeCreme adds a layer of depth and poignant heart to the show. She reminds us all that gay, straight, bi, or Neil deGlass Tyson, we're all just a combination of atoms. We all make up the cosmos, and the cosmos make us all up.
Cosmos returns to the Laurie Beechman (inside West Bank Cafe), NYC. For more information about BenDeLeCreme and where to catch her next, visit BenDelaCreme.com.