Don’t be fooled by the onstage antics, it’s still a drag to be human.
At “Unmasked,” a new monthly variety show debuting at Union Hall on Oct. 28, the freaky queens in tights and stilettos will bare more than just flesh — they’ll offer a rare glimpse at the real-life personalities behind their pervy personas, revealing there are at least two sides to every lady in drag.
After parading strange skills and “assets” in the first act, the performers will break character and expose their unadorned selves sans makeup, costumes, and props — and give the audience a taste of their backstories.
No one is born a sword swallower or straitjacket escape artist, those pasties didn’t paste themselves to that dancer’s breasts — and the tales behind performers’ transformations from plain-Jane (or Joe) to Miss Va-va-voom can be as riveting as the onstage action.
Lady Aye, who produces the show with the kinky balloon-twisting Mistress B, said that onstage, she’s a different person completely.
“Being the ‘Lady Aye’ gave me a chance to try on this confident persona, and be this glamorous, gorgeous, confident person I always wanted to be but never really was.”
She will swallow a sword in the first act, then return with relatable tales of how she got there through a tormented youth, a near-miss on 9-11, and her struggles with bulimia.
Or, perhaps she’ll describe how she learned to swallow a sword from a Florida man who’s been doing it since the 1950s.
“He told me I was too short but he could train me anyway,” she said. “Not every human body can do it. It takes a lot of physical training.”
On Oct. 28, Aye and B will perform alongside sexy singer Blackie O’Nasty and stand-up comedian Kaytlin Bailey, the first in a rotating cast of guest-artists to divulge their dual nature in a two-part performance that harkens to a live-action, close-up reality TV show.
“When I’m onstage,” Aye said, “I’m very much like ‘Oh, everything’s perfect, and I’m this movie star and I’ve got this.’ [This show] allows people to look behind that.”
“Unmasked: Larger-Than-Life Characters and the Regular Joes Who Inhabit Them,” at Union Hall (702 Union St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope). Oct. 28, 8 pm. $8.