Monday, November 28, 2011
Britney, Gaga, Beyonce, Madonna, and Katy Perry Come to Times Square!
It would take a PRETTY BIG DEAL to make a Drag Dent in the gay New York scene, don't you agree? Well I think the big deal has come to town, boys. Enter ICONS - the newest off-broadway spectacular at the Snapple Theater near Times Square.
It combines three things gays love: pop divas, hot nearly naked men AND super talented drag queens!
Think about it: Beyonce, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga... all played by boys and surrounded by boys!
Yeah. It's amazing. I had to get the scoop on this new show, so I got in touch with the power gays behind the scenes, Michael Duling and Tom D'Angora, to ask them a few questions.
Check it out, and then check ICONS out by getting tickets here!
- Justin Luke
For those +1s who aren't in the know, what is ICONS?
ICONS is the gayest show on earth...next to Hugh Jackman on Broadway (he does do a Dreamgirls medley). Its a drag dance extravaganza, a nostalgic trip through diva pop culture, and basically just a loud and rowdy good time. The show starts with Tina and Cher and works its way through Gaga and Beyonce. You'll see Madonna do some Blond Ambition, Britney dance her ass off, Whitney being Whitney, and a bunch of sweaty hot back up dancers. You'll know every word to every song, recognize every costume, and the super fans will probably know all the moves. The show basically recreates your favorite videos, performances, and "iconic" moments. The show's designed for the ADD generation, so it never gets boring, its loud, hyper-theatrical, and just a lot of fun!
And how did ICONS get its start?
We produce Naked Boys Singing in Provincetown and the owner of the venue asked us to whip together a drag show. In all honesty, producing a drag show sounded punishing, and what do you do in Provincetown that hasn't been done? Tom came up with the idea to keep it really young, dance heavy, and celebrity based. Most drag in Ptown is comedy based (Varla, Miss Richfield, Dina Martina, etc) so we thought this would at least be different. Then we sat down and just said, "if we went to a cheap-ass lip-syncing drag show what would we want to see?" Madonna in a pink cone bra was the very first thing we knew we needed to do, Janet had to do Rhythm Nation, and we should throw some comedy in, maybe a funny Whitney Houston bit, and it just started flowing.
We knew we hated drag-impressions that just kind of did the choreography and wore a similar looking outfit. We knew we wanted it to be exact recreations of the "iconic" moments. We mapped out the show in about 30 minutes and it was set, we never changed one thing. We cast two kids (one of whom had never done drag before, the other who was already doing Gaga-drag) and asked a few of the Naked Boys to be back up dancers. During rehearsals we thought it was a train wreck. None of us knew what we were creating. We were going to postpone a few days to get it in shape but decided to test it out in front of an audience on our scheduled opening just to see what worked and what didn't. We opened, the audience was insane, and within a week we were selling out left and right and adding shows like crazy. Somehow on opening night it all came together in the most magically fabulous way I've ever witnessed.
What type of audience is ICONS for?
The audience for ICONS is sooooooo diverse. Icons is honestly for everyone. From gay guys who have ever made a mix tape, taught themselve the choreo to Oops I Did It Again, and remember when Madonna ruled the earth are the best audience members. They sing along, scream, get drunk, and have a great time. Middle aged women always love it. One of our biggest fans (who's seen the show at least ten times) is in her sixties and she brought a group of twelve retired nurses to our final performance in Ptown this year! Tom's stepdad is a retired Cape Cod police sergeant and has been 5 times. We've also have some young fans, some of Gaga's dancers came to the show and then a big group came later this year who were recommended the show by Gaga's dancers, and oddly enough straight guys LOVE it. The show is for anyone who wants to have fun. Its just about letting your hair down, having a drink, and getting excited when your favorite song starts!
With all the shows currently on and off Broadway, why should we see ICONS?
You can see both. We're late night. Go see your Broadway show and then stop by ICONS afterwards. We're bringing a little late night debauchery back to Times Square!
What is your favorite segment of the show, and why?
The opening is great because you can feal the anticipation in the room. The Britney Spears number is f*cking EPIC, Gaga is fun because we change it all the time to keep it current, and the audience always loves Whitney. The show is so fast paced that it is impossible to pick one moment. Each moment flows into the other really nicely so you kind of need all the pieces to create the larger picture.
What was your biggest challenge in bringing ICONS to Off-Broadway from P-Town?
We're filling a void that NYC didn't realize it had. We're doing a late night drag show in Times Square. How do we get the tourists in? How do we convince the gays that this isn't your typical bar drag act? We know people love the show, and we get so many returning audience members, but will the show fly in NYC? What makes the show popular is the merging of the classic drag show with the classic theatrical formula. Icons is hyper theatrical to say the least. When producing shows on or off Broadway there's at least a certain protocol... this we're just kind of making up as we go along.
What changes have been made between the two versions?
Well, we always try to go bigger, better, and louder! And, we can't ruin any major details. We've done two different versions of the show in Ptown and this is basically a mash-up of those two versions. We've also added a few more back-up dancers which gives us more stage looks to play with.
Who is YOUR favorite real-life diva, and why?
Michael Jackson is hands-down the greatest Icon in history, but now it's Gaga, duh. Why? Because she's Lady Gaga. Also, We've always liked artists who were strong willed, made bold decisions, and didn't try to fit into the pop machine. We like artists who are their own creations. Tom would like to add that on a global scale Hillary Clinton is his favorite diva, god love her.
Which real-life diva are you getting tired of, and why?
Since this show is all about celebrating the talents of these divas it would not be very polite to focus on the negative. In each of their hey-days the divas we do in ICONS couldn't be touched and that's how we like to remember them. They've all had some ups-and-downs but everyone in our show deserves the title of "ICON" for a reason.
When and where is ICONS performed? And how can we get tickets?
Fridays and Saturday nights at 10:45pm. We're at The Snapple Theater Center, 1627 Broadway at 50th St. You can get tickets through Ticketmaster and go to our website ICONSNYC.com for info, pics, videos, etc. Also, join the facebook page "ICONS-Provincetown" where you can see all the videos and photos that our fabulous "iFans" have taken and uploaded.