Five questions with ... Mimi Imfurst - The Herald Palladium : Features

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Five questions with ... Mimi Imfurst

Drag queen extraordinaire

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Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012 5:00 am

THREE OAKS - Mimi Imfurst likes to poke fun at anything and everything "and probably," she says, "some things I shouldn't."

But when the drag queen, whose given name is Braden Chapman, had the idea to do a Christmas show as the Virgin Mary, it was just too good to pass up.

"I've actually been doing this show in New York for about eight years now," Imfurst says. "This show is near and dear to my heart. It's also constantly evolving. If you love Christmas you'll enjoy this show, and if you love Christmas and are a little bit naughty this show is really for you."

Imfurst, whose cabaret-style act interweaves stand-up comedy with a host of politically incorrect song parodies, will perform "A Very Mary Christmas" Saturday at The Acorn Theater in Three Oaks. She debuted "It's A Show, Girl" at the venue last year.

"I have the blessing to get to travel a lot and The Acorn has to be one of my favorite spaces," Imfurst says. "It's just absolutely gorgeous and the audience was amazing. So this is a bit of a Christmas present in and of itself to get to come back and perform there."

Outside of her home base of New York City, Imfurst is perhaps most recognized as a cast member in the third season of the reality show "RuPaul's Drag Race," where drinks were flung and she hoisted competitor In dia Ferrah onto her shoul ders in the "Lip Sync for Your Life" lightning round. She's also ap peared on television in "Celebrity Apprentice," "The Big Ang Show," "Jersey Couture," "The Howard Stern Show," ABC's "What Would You Do?" and the popular Web series "The Queens of Drag: NYC."

She's been the opening act for both Kathy Griffin and Mo'Nique, is a member of the pop group XELLE, and has starred in off-Broad way productions of "Boylesque," "Thank You For Being A Friend," "Hedwig And The Angry Inch" and "The Diary of Anne Frankenstein."

Q If people happened to catch your performance, "It's A Show, Girl," at The Acorn last year, they know that your cabaret performances are filled with a lot of irreverent humor. So how do you combine that style with the Christmas story?

A The premise behind it is this idea of what if the Virgin Mary could tell her side of the story and what if she was a lounge singer doing it? So I imagined this whole lounge act for the Virgin Mary where she talks about how she felt when the angel Gabriel said she was going to have God's baby. I gave her a very modern opinion on something that is so traditional. And I do that by using parodies of pop songs - everything from Madonna to Katy Perry - and some traditional Christmas music as well.

Q You, of course, are known for those song parodies so can you give me a couple of examples of what to expect?

A Oh there's so many. There's a parody of "Oh What a Night" - the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons song. But instead of Oh what a night / Late December back in '63 it's Oh what a night / Late December back in 1 BC. It's all about giving birth to Christ.

Let's see. There's "Hotel California" that I turned into "There's No Room in the Inn for Maria." Of course she has to sing "Like a Virgin" by Madonna. There's parodies of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" but it's "In My Womb Tonight," and Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" but it's "Fast Mule." I basically retell the entire story with these pop songs. It's completely ludicrous.

Q You've been doing this show in New York for years, but when you take it on the road is there a little bit of shock that you're doing a Christmas drag show about the Virgin Mary?

A Sometimes people are like "What are you doing? This is something so sacred," and that's half the reason I did it. The Virgin Mary is this figure held in such high esteem that no one stops to ask how did she feel about this. She was 13 at the time and in this arranged marriage with a carpenter who was much older than she was. She was just settling into that life when this happened. One of the lessons that she gives us is the selflessness of the act of being the vessel for which the savior would be born into the world and I wanted to give her an opinion about that.

Q Many people might remember you from Season 3 of "RuPaul's Drag Race." This fall you just wrapped "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars." Although you were eliminated early on, what was it like to be asked back to the show?

A It was a little bit less "I'm going to cut you!" and more about just wanting to compete. It's such an honor to be asked to come back. That in and of itself was extraordinary, especially because this was the first time they've done "All Stars." Thousands of thousands of drag queens audition every year to be on "RuPaul's Drag Race" and 12 get selected. Now over the course of four seasons there are 50 of us. So to be picked as one of the 12 out of those 50 was incredibly humbling and an insane honor. These are queens who I was a fan of, so it was kind of amazing. It was amazing just to share a little TV time with the best of the best of the best drag queens in the country.

Q It's been a busy year for you. You're also in the pop group XELLE along with JC Cassis and Rony Goffer, which just released its debut album. What can you tell me about it?

A We just released our album last month. It's called "Queens." It's an album we've been working on now for about two years. There's eight tracks. It's very The Spice Girls meets ABBA with a little Ke$ha in there, too. They're all really super fun dance songs with extremely catchy hooks. The songs range from over-the-top Euro pop to dark ballads to uplifting inspirational songs. It's fun and I'm very proud of it.

-- WHAT: Mimi Imfurst's "A Very Mary Christmas"

-- WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday

-- WHERE: The Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Drive, Three Oaks

-- HOW MUCH: $15

-- CONTACT: 756-3879 or


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