Theatre Review: Jinkx Monsoon Everything at Stake Tour (Kings Theatre, Brooklyn) ★★★★★

Following her triumphant Broadway debut in Chicago earlier this year, Monsoon season continues with two-time Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon currently in the midst of a 44-city North American tour, Everything At Stake, with a lively five-piece band. On Saturday night, Jinkx brought her delightfully quirky show to the spectacular Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, an opulent former movie palace, with its more than three thousand seats filled with adoring fans.

Jinkx Monsoon in Everything At Stake. Photo credit: Martine Poulin.

Jinkx continues to push the boundaries of what a drag artist can do on stage with this show, which is part concert, part stand-up, part confessional. There’s a meta element of her contemplating putting the show together while actually performing it, as well as frequent evaluations of whether the show is good enough, leading to cameos from her inner demons personified, including anxiety and depression. It’s this kind of raw honesty woven into the fabric of the show (albeit in a heightened, theatrical way) that adds real texture and richness to Everything At Stake. There’s an autobiographical aspect running throughout too, with Jinkx touching on her youth in Portland, Oregon; her start in theatre in Rocky Horror; sexual liberation (what she calls her “slut monologue”); becoming sober; struggles with depression; being in therapy; those two Drag Race wins; her drag marriage with BenDeLaCreme (who makes a fun cameo via video); and real life marriage with Michael Abbot (touring in the band with her). She’s taking Carrie Fisher’s advice, “take your broken heart and make it into art”, and in allowing us to see her vulnerability, while wowing us with her talent, she creates and maintains a meaningful connection with her audience.

Jinkx acknowledges the hostility towards queer, trans, and gender nonconforming folks that is being stoked outside the theatre in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and dangerous rhetoric in many states across the country, giving this show even more purpose and power, while also offering us a rejuvenating respite. There’s a relaxed looseness to the show that gives it both a feeling of spontaneity and intimacy despite the venue’s massive scale. In one of my favourite sections, Jinkx began talking to someone who identified themselves as a straight man accompanying his wife to the show. Hilarious and edge-of-your-seat engaging, Jinkx shared her experience of airports in the US while out of drag as a “trans nonbinary femme human with a penis”, including setting off a security alert with a “groin anomaly” and being questioned about whether she was using the right restroom. It’s impactful, razor-sharp, insightful social commentary from her own experience of navigating a binary world and the politicization of her identity by those encouraging hatred. A genius move to deliver it all directly to the straight man, both figuratively and literally, in the audience.

Jinkx Monsoon in Everything At Stake. Photo credit: Martine Poulin.

When it comes to the music, Jinkx’s vocals are sublime, combining a velvety smoothness with a biting edge and real force that never overpowers. Her storytelling skills help make the musical numbers all the more compelling. One of the highlights of the night for me was her rendition of the stirring bop “Take It Back” from her 2018 album The Ginger Snapped. The lyrics feel particularly resonant in this political climate: “It’s a jungle out there / And we’re right to fight”. At one point a seance conjures a Snatch Game icon to the stage, with Jinkx getting the tone just right channeling a Judy Garland that’s funny, captivating, and heartbreaking.

Leading the band is her longtime collaborator, the mighty Major Scales on piano, who like Jinkx, commands the stage with ease as he covers a costume change with a banging B-52s style thrillingly frenetic number complete with energetic dance moves alongside the fabulous Michael Abbot on keys.

Jinkx Monsoon – The Lavender Song (Official Visualizer)

Jinkx brought the evening to a potently moving crescendo with “The Lavender Song”, which she recently released as a single. An English language version of the German cabaret song “Das lila Lied”, a queer anthem written in 1920 that’s all too eerily relevant now. It’s a celebratory and defiant work about queer love, resilience, and resistance, and Jinkx’s poignant delivery of it brought me to tears, before she sent us out into our own lavender night with a buoyant burst of a tribute to Tina Turner.

As skilled in stagecraft as she is in witchcraft, with a killer wit, delectable mischievous streak, and a magnetic presence, Jinkx really puts the U in “charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent”, channeling her originality into something truly special with Everything At Stake.

By James Kleinmann

Jinkx Monsoon’s Everything At Stake Tour continues until August 14th, 2023. For more details and to purchase tickets head to

July 5: Durham, N.C. — Carolina Theatre
July 6: Tysons, Va. — Capital One Hall
July 7: Glenside, Pa. — Keswick Theatre
July 8: Cleveland, Ohio — The Agora
July 9: Pittsburgh, Pa. — Stage AE
July 11: Columbus, Ohio — KEMBA Live!
July 12: Royal Oak, Mich. — Royal Oak Music Hall
July 14: Chicago, Ill. — Chicago Theatre
July 15: Milwaukee, Wis. — Pabst Theater
July 16: St. Paul, Minn. — The Fitzgerald Theater
July 18: Newport, Ky. — MegaCorp Pavilion
July 19: Charlotte, N.C. — Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts
July 20: Atlanta, Ga. — The Eastern
July 22: Tampa, Fla. — Tampa Theatre
July 23: Orlando, Fla. — Hard Rock Live
July 24: Coral Springs, Fla. — Coral Springs Center
July 26: New Orleans, La. — The Orpheum
July 27: Austin, Texas — Paramount Theatre
July 28: Dallas, Texas — Majestic Theater
July 29: Midwest City, Okla. — Rose State College Hudiberg Chevrolet Center
July 31: Kansas City, Mo. — Folly Theater
Aug. 1: Denver, Colo. — Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Aug. 2: Salt Lake City, Utah — Eccles Theater
Aug. 6: San Diego, Calif. — The Balboa Theatre
Aug. 7: Los Angeles, Calif. — The Orpheum Theatre
Aug. 8: Los Angeles, Calif. — The Orpheum Theatre
Aug. 9: San Jose, Calif. — California Theatre
Aug. 10: San Francisco, Calif. — Warfield Theatre
Aug. 12: Seattle, Wash. — Paramount Theatre
Aug. 13: Spokane, Wash. — Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox
Aug. 14: Portland, Ore. — Keller Auditorium

“Chicago was one of the reasons I started doing drag” Jinkx Monsoon on making her Broadway debut

2 thoughts on “Theatre Review: Jinkx Monsoon Everything at Stake Tour (Kings Theatre, Brooklyn) ★★★★★

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  1. After seeing her last night in SF I wondered if we saw the same show? It was long and parts tediously so. (Dela and the cat ) But the real problem was the person who runs the mixing board was asleep at the wheel. Jinx vocals completely drown out and unintelligible when you could hear her with the only exception her nod to Judy Garland that was delightful. Such a huge disappointment for a real die hard jinx fan.

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