Photo courtesy Eric Paguio
Creme of the crop
BenDeLaCreme proves her versatile talents in live show
RICH LOPEZ | Staff writer
RuPaul’s Drag Race and RPDR All-Stars alum BenDeLaCreme kicked off her biggest tour to date, and the “terminally delightful” queen’s Ready to Be Committed tour comes to Dallas on May 6. For this tour, she proves to be a triple threat serving not only as the star, but also as writer and director.
The show has been on her horizon for a while, but the pandemic resulted in the postponement of the original version in 2020, but the 2022 tour has increased in size.
“After two long years of postponements I’m over-freaking-joyed to be bringing my new solo show back on the road. And I gotta tell you all: This one’s a doozy,” DeLa said in a press release announcing the tour. Ready to Be Committed is the story of one queen who searches for love and finds a whole lot she never bargained for — bitchy brides, pervy Grindr guys, corpse-eating cats, song, dance and more puppets than you ever thought you’d see at a wedding. I can’t wait to share DeLa’s special day with all of you.”
That’s not to say, DeLa wasn’t busy in the meantime.
Her holiday tour, The Return of the Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, LIVE! with co-star Jinkx Monsoon, marked the queen’s highest grossing tour under BenDeLaCreme Presents. She also became the first drag queen to produce a feature film (under pandemic restrictions) with The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special in 2020, which garnered her production company an exclusive licensing deal with the streaming service Hulu.
But now, DeLa’s on the road again, hoofing up the humor. Prior to her Dallas performance, BenDeLaCreme (nee Benjamin Putnam) talked about bouncing back after the pandemic postponement, finding love and marriage and dealing with herself as the star and director.
Dallas Voice: Congratulations on the return of the show. Did it at all change from its original iteration to what we’re about to see? DeLa: It did change. I’ve been working on it quite a bit and really upping the ante on all the physical production of it. I’ve devoted a lot of time to even more of a bang with the visuals.
Did the script have to change in all this time? I pulled the script back out assuming that everything would feel so different now. But what I wrote still felt really true to what’s going on in the world — still. As an artist, to see that the script can still feel that easy was surprising. But I was also proud I did the work right.
You’re a very thoughtful person, as proven on your time on the RuPaul’s Drag Race shows. So minus the humor and kitsch, how do you describe this show? Thank you! It’s about love and relationships and alone-ness. These universal things that we as human beings experience. All that stuff remains relevant throughout plagues and world wars.
Did the pandemic affect the show in terms of subject? For the show, DeLa wants to get married, and the stakes are higher. We’ve all been isolated — either by ourselves or with someone — but I think we’re all afraid of dying alone. So she’s kind of fueled by this.
But it’s still funny, right? Of course!
Relationships and single life can be a delicate issue among the gays. Yeah, and the idea of commitment is a scary thing. You have to ask yourself, what is your life going to look like when you incorporate another person into it.
How can someone as lovely and delightful as DeLa have such troubles in love? Right? The thing that’s fun is that she’s such a ding-dong and just barrels ahead in life, going along with these stories we’ve been told. It’s a way for me, as Ben, to express myself. We’re told to find that right person and get married. I think Cinderella haunted gay men as much as little girls. A lot of us want to be princesses saved by that knight.
For you, as Ben, the love life isn’t so bad. I’ve been with my partner for seven-and-a-half years, and it’s by far the longest relationship I’ve had. And we work together, and it is a very vulnerable thing.
One lasat thing, as the director, how was your star? She was an absolute monster. I had to lock her in her trailer several times.
Ready to Be Committed, May 6, 8 p.m., at the Texas Theater, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. BenDeLaCreme.com.