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POP AND JAZZ REVIEWS : A Witty RuPaul at the Palace

July 19, 1993|DENNIS HUNT

Towering close to seven feet in spiked heels, sassy, brassy RuPaul is the first drag queen to score in the music business since the late Sylvester back in the '70s.

In a midnight show on Friday at the Palace, the haughty, cartoonishly feminine RuPaul displayed an overpowering persona much like Little Richard's, complete with slashing wit. Although RuPaul had a long chart run--particularly in dance circles--with the single "Supermodel (You Better Work)" from his recent debut album, "Supermodel of the World," the music is secondary in his shows.

Backed by taped instrumentals, he sang a few songs that came across as musical interludes to his campy monologues. His commentary ranged far and wide, from wholesome homilies to gutter chatter, from extolling the virtues of love to giving graphic details of a fantasy affair with Arsenio Hall.

Decked out in a blond wig and sequined hot pants, he strutted around the stage, teasing, taunting and titillating the audience--which included quite a few drag queens. RuPaul is such a funny, riveting comic than his songs seemed tame by comparison. While just an average singer, he's so spirited and enthusiastic that he seems better than he is. The only problem with his half-hour show was that it was far too short.

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