Thre are a few different kinds of drag shows here. There are the gay club shows, the hooker bar shows, and the huge flashy Vegasy shows referred to as "Cabaret." The huge shows are amazing. While they don't incorporate the intentional sense of irony that we NYers love so much in a show, they are SO excessive and overdone that they don't need it. They emulate big splashy musical and music videos. Every number had over 20 dancers in huge, HUGE, costumes. The set keeps changing like on Broadway. The numbers are usually ethnically themed: Thai, Chinese, Korean, Brazillian, etc. There's sometimes some techno thing tossed in. One had a whole Disney song medley. A show like this couldn't happen in NY. It would be too expensive. Anything that large in NY couldn't get away with not paying for the music rights. And all those lavish costumes would cost millions. I'm not exaggerating, you'd have to see it to beleive it.
Last night I saw a much smaller gay bar show. It was mostly standard drag. Still, there is this effort I just never see in NY. They do a new show every night, and each number (there are maybe 6) has about 4 choreographed backup dancers, sometimes queens, sometimes boys. I just don't know how they get that together every night, even on slow weeknights.
The star of the show is this nutty queen who is not at all pretty. The girls here are so gorgeous that I think a homely queen is their idea of funny. She never comes out until the second to last number. Every other queen does American or European songs but she always does something in Thai. It's all over my head, but I'm pretty sure she is sending up Thai pop singers. The other day she did a really druggy look for a rock song. She kept rolling her eyes up and pretening to almost walk off of the stage. Her backup singers were making that crooked mouth coke face. You know the face.
The crowd will be polite and clap for everyone, but when the curtain goes up and she is there in some new garish character look mugging at them they go nuts and start cheering. I think she's the Thai drag Carol Burnett. Then she does this 10 minute standup that sounds really cunty and bitchy. It's all in Thai but the faces she makes are fun to watch.