It’s not easy to laugh at ourselves. It requires practicing humility at the most difficult times, and it’s a skill that many people fail to possess, or even consider. But not the New York City drag queen, Miz Cracker, who shined on stage with wit and vulnerability in her new show Foolish, at Revel 32 on Sept. 24.
Revel 32, a modernized historic theater in downtown Poughkeepsie, is the perfect place to host a drag show. The old architecture added an element of charm while the marble floors created a classy vibe. Getting to the event early allowed for an opportunity to see excited Cracker fans wait for their chance to meet and take a picture with the drag legend.
The event was hosted by Out Loud Hudson Valley, a queer owned arts collective curating events for Hudson Valley’s LGBTQ+ community. Out Loud Hudson Valley did a fabulous job keeping the event on brand with both themselves and Miz Cracker. Silly signature cocktails were served for guests who were 21+ that loosened the audience up for a night of laughs and hysterical performances. One drink, the Cracker Fizz was a pink lemonade flavored cocktail served with club soda or lemon lime that was just as sweet and bubbly as the queen herself. The welcome charcuterie board was a queer sign that this was going to be a safe space. This was an event that was created for queer people by queer people, so it was a night the audience could truly relieve themselves.
During Foolish, Cracker dared audience members to embrace their blunders and mishaps through sharing hers with us, leaving a memorable impact on them through her emotional candidness. If there’s anybody we should listen to about stifling our egos and taking ourselves less seriously, it’s Cracker. She’s endured the spiritual and physical toll that drag takes on a person for over a decade.
Drag is not an anomaly in New Paltz. From bar goers pouring into Bacchus to toss tips at drag performers on weekend nights, to students attending performances put on by the Queens and Kings of New Paltz in the SUB. But drag is not for the faint of heart. It’s tireless nights of eager audiences, dance routines and bright lights, and with many people in college interested in drag, Cracker extended her advice for college aged drag performers, “Do drag as much as you can, because that’s when you really begin to flourish, and a lot of new ideas come to you when you’re doing it all the time. It’s such hard work to do it every day, but if you could have yourself, try sewing, try doing hair, try doing makeup- one thing every day- you will be amazed at what progress you make.”
Prior to the show, Cracker also shared what she’s looking forward to people seeing in Foolish, “I’m excited for them to see my video comedy sketches because I’m really proud of them. They took a lot of teamwork to put together and they’re a lot of fun.” One comedy sketch, in which a Betty Draper chic Cracker appeared in an infomercial for a brand new drug, “Lay Down and Give Up,” received big laughs from the audience for its dark humor and relatability, and is sure to have left a memorable impact with its impressive quality of production.
One audience member, Lola Deville, who frequents as a drag queen in New Paltz commented on Cracker’s performance, “It is very elegant. It is divine. It is an amazing show and she’s killing it. She is really putting her art out into the world. It’s Poughkeepsie, the first traveling show, and it’s been amazing. I’m very happy to be here.”
While on stage, Cracker shared a time when she was touring with a group of her Rupaul’s Drag Race sisters in Europe and a series of events led to her yelling in a hotel, jet lagged and in bunny ears. We’ve all had our less than glamorous moments, and that is what Cracker wanted to highlight throughout her show by sharing her truths.
A standout moment from the show was when Cracker appeared on stage, pretty as a pearl in a clam costume, only for it to come off in a cheeky strip tease. Audiences roared as Cracker removed her costume and dangled each article of clothing while dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Venus.” This segment as well as her others, were funny and well done, and performed with dedication and charm.
Our favorite moment was the closing lip sync number to “Stay the Night” by Zedd, in which Cracker opened up about her unlikely friendship with her late friend, Omar, a straight man she met in French class. Cracker’s ability to balance this tender moment without diminishing the high energy of the show is a testament to her talent. Her willingness to open up about something deeply personal to her, as well as her earned wisdom regarding accepting our authentic, foolish selves made Foolish a profound delight with heart.