Inside the Artistic & Complex Mind of Sasha Velour at The Big Reveal Live Show

The real ones know how iconic the finale of USA RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9 was and how artist Sasha Velour stole our hearts with her expressive lip sync to Whitney Houston’s ‘Emotional’ seven years ago. After attending Sasha’s latest ‘The Big Reveal Live Show’ we ask the questions: Has drag become saturated? Are certain demographics of drag being neglected by the mainstream? Is it now overly commercialised? 

Her first solo show, “Smoke & Mirrors” proved to be a hit and now with this new international tour, Sasha places herself alongside drag legends that haven’t been pushed to the sidelines, like Jinx Monsoon, Bianca Del Rio and Trixie Mattel. Evidence that talent sustains you in the industry.

Directed, written, and produced by Sasha herself, ‘The Big Reveal’ 90-minute live extravaganza was like nothing we’d seen before. It had everything: outrageous humour, heartfelt moments, and jaw-dropping performances. And despite all the glitz and glam, it’s still her most personal show yet. With drag, storytelling, and live art, Sasha had us on a wild ride that had us laughing until we cried.

Starting her performance at The London Palladium with an unknown lingering in the air, nobody knew what to expect. The stage was reminiscent of an old-school living room, complete with a blue armchair, side table and floor lamp. As ‘Waiting For Tonight’ by J-Lo fills the theatre and a spotlight shines brightly at the back, we eagerly anticipate Sasha’s entrance, only to be staring at an empty stage. Suddenly the armchair moves… It’s Sasha. The chair slowly evolves into a high-fashion garment by the final chorus, presenting a daringly satirical, unconventional and playfully witty statement.  

In one of her captivating video skits, she portrayed different personas engaging in a dispute about the interpretations of drag across different communities, eager to emphasise the significance of diversity within the art form. Ultimately, her message underscores its versatility, asserting that it can embody whatever individuals desire it to be.

In another performance she dazzles the crowd with a radiant disco ball headdress, illuminating the venue with shimmering brilliance. Yet, in another, she delivers a powerful moment by aggressively shattering glass upon herself. Sasha’s reputation precedes her as a performer renowned for her poignant, introspective, and audience-stirring reveals. She seamlessly weaves a commitment to diversity into every lip sync choice, this time it spanned from Stevie Wonder to Christina and Britney to classic Hollywood flicks and Dionne Warwick classics. 

Transitioning into the second act, Sasha undergoes a metamorphosis, embodying the essence of an angel inspired by ancient statues. Her performance served as a reflection of her personal journey, encompassing elements of self-discovery, theatrical extravagance, campy flair, intimate narrative, expertly crafted comedy, and her most daring fashion choice. 

Throughout the show, it became evident that Sasha is a natural-born performer and has been since day one, carrying a deep-seated love for dressing up that originated in her childhood. We gaze at childhood film footage of her first drag performance as a kid which was a personal touch into her upbringing. She drew inspiration from her rebellious grandmother, who had been an esteemed companion of numerous drag queens long before drag gained mainstream recognition. Additionally, her parents, overflowing with love and support, wholeheartedly embraced her creative vision. She embodies the ideal of a world where every parent unconditionally accepts their child for who they are.

Sasha’s message is clear: where there’s criticism, there’s hope, and each performance brings inspiration. With her ‘Big Reveal Show,’ Sasha Velour proves she’s among the best drag entertainers and artists globally. And just like drag itself, she’s here to stay.

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Words: Izabel Rose
Photography: Greg Endries and Alexey Kim