AT one point a member of the audience was laughing so hard that it stopped Jinkx Monsoon in her heels and Major Scales in his patent leather shoes.

Things were going well before then, but the spontaneous eruption of applause made it clear – they were smashing it.

Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales

Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales

In the intimate setting of the Visy Theatre, The Vaudevillians owned the room within minutes of coming on stage.

The premise was simple, yet clever. They had recently been thawed back to life after being frozen alive in the 1920’s – and now complain of musicians knocking off their copyrights with modern-day rehashes of their original music.

With just a grand piano and a love seat as props, Monsoon and Scales play banter well and move their bodies through a range of motions, from delicate to ladylike.

At other times Monsoon has the grace of a rugby league player taking up ballet for the first time but with the flexibility of a college gymnast while Scales middle-hip swivels like a pro.

To pull this off they have used a combination of wicked timing, audience engagement (oh that poor young man in his three-quarter pants plucked from the crowd), talented dancing, singing and smut – all of which is laid on with abundance in the 90-minute show, which opened at the Brisbane Powerhouse last night.

RELATED: Vaudevillians Brisbane opening night gallery

Local drag artist and queen of the boards Miss Synthetique’s alter ego Andy Jillard was in the crowd and was the one that brought the show to a stop with his laughter.

After the show he told the Star Observer: “I thought I was going to have an asthma attack from laughing so much.

“Oh my god, such good gay fun. The best show I’ve seen in forever.”

Fellow frocker Jim Gread posted on Facebook: “Sore, everywhere! The Vaudevillians blew my mind. Thank you for an incredible night!”

The Vaudevillians themselves took time between the show and taking questions from their premium meet-and-greet customers. It costs double the general admission for the chat, but is money well spent, with reserved seating and a chance to get up close and personal with this engaging “couple”.

The show was packed with local content and references. Monsoon and Scales had done their research and partly on the run. Monsoon said: “We always try to make fun of the city we’re in. But we did the show completely as written on our first night in Melbourne and so many jokes just weren’t translating. After the first night we cut out anything that didn’t make anyone laugh and replaced them with Australian jokes.”

Scales quipped: “Who would have thought that J. Edgar Hoover jokes didn’t translate.”

When Monsoon and Scales learned that Miss Synthetique was the show-stopping-laugher, they both burst out laughing.

“We knew it was a drag queen,” they said.

Monsoon added: “I have never enjoyed an interruption as much as that. We never had someone stop a show from laughing so much. It ended up making the joke (that was interrupted) so much better.”

Scales also congratulated Andy Jillard for being out of drag and stealing a scene from a drag queen on stage.

The show is touring Australia, with a stopover in Sydney as part of Mardi Gras in coming weeks.


Fri 7.30pm; Sat 9.30pm; Sun 7pm @ Brisbane Powerhouse.

INFO: Tickets and more information can be found here.

RELATED: Vaudevillians Brisbane opening night gallery


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