'RuPaul's Drag Race' Werq the World Tour: Kim Chi and Alyssa Edwards Talk Crazy Fan Moments & Unusual Gifts
The queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race will unleash their own brand of hilarity and hijinks upon the world this spring with the RuPaul’s Drag Race Werq the World 2017 tour, hosted by Bianca Del Rio and Michelle Visage. The show will feature some of the series’ most unforgettable stars including Alaska Thunderfuck, Alyssa Edwards, Detox, Kim Chi, Latrice Royale, and Violet Chachki as well as some of the new queens from season 9: Aja, Peppermint, Shea Coulee and Trinity Taylor.
The show kicks off tonight (May 26) in Toronto, hitting several cities in Europe throughout June before ending in New York City June 23. In preparation for the tour, Billboard spoke to Kim Chi and Alyssa Edwards about crazy fan interactions, odd gifts they've received and the diversity within their audience.
This tour is going everywhere. What’s the craziest place you’ve toured?
Kim Chi: The craziest place I’ve been to is Korea. It’s been one of my dreams to go there. I didn't know what to expect because they had never brought a drag queen over there -- I was the first one. The show did really well, it sold out so they brought me back. Drag Race doesn't air there so all of those fans have to watch it illegally online. For a lot of them it was their first time seeing drag. It’s cool to expose a new audience to drag.
What was your most memorable fan interaction?
Alyssa Edwards: You know what my craziest fan moment was? I was just in Brazil. And this guy -- he’s the first guy at the meet and greet. He walks up, he’s shaking. He’s super excited, kind of like how I was when I met RuPaul for the first time. His boyfriend told me, “he’s super excited, he’s your number one fan,” and he pulls out this piece of paper. Well, his boyfriend lives here in the States, and for his birthday, he flew him there. They drove to Mesquite, Texas, to take pictures in front of the studio. He’s a young dancer in Brazil and he wanted me to sign the pictures. I thought, “Wow, it’s all because of this TV show.” It’s changed not only my life, but the lives of others. It’s given them people to look up to and be inspired and motivated. It’s so rewarding. It’s beyond what I can put into words.
What’s the strangest gift you’ve received from a fan?
Kim Chi: On the show, I quoted “donut come for me” -- so this past year, I’ve gotten dozens and dozens of donuts. I can’t eat this many donuts. I also mentioned that I wanted to make enough money so that I could afford guacamole at Chipotle. Thanks to that, I’ve gotten so many Chipotle gift cards, I don’t think I’ve paid for Chipotle this whole year.
Do fans ever attempt to recreate your makeup looks?
Kim Chi: I did a sad clown look on one of the episodes of Drag Race. And now, every show I do, there will be always be two or three sad clowns in the audience staring back at me.
The Drag Race fandom is diverse. What type of audiences do you generally see at shows?
Alyssa Edwards: It’s not just gay people! It’s mothers, it’s grandmothers, it’s fathers. I can’t tell you at DragCon how many families that waited in line to see me. Some of them waited up to five hours, and they had their family there. That’s the beauty of this. I remember being that little gay boy in Mesquite that was so afraid of the world, like, “am I living right? Am I living wrong?” I remember being 19, waiting on the world to change, and now I’m a very proud 37 year old man, not waiting but participating. It’s an amazing, sensational feeling.
What can fans expect from this tour?
Alyssa Edwards: Werq the World is going to be one of the best tours that features all different styles of drag performances. We’re definitely gonna werq! It’s not the W-O-R-K, it’s the W-E-R-Q, baby! I just want to say if you are in any city, or in a surrounding city where this tour is making a cute little pit stop: girl, get on your bicycle, phone a friend, get on a plane, take an Uber -- whatever you gotta do. Because this is one hell of a drag show you do not want to miss. And that’s a fact.
Check out the tour dates below.
May 26 - Toronto @ Danforth Music Hall
May 27 - Montreal @ Theatre Berri
May 30 - London, UK @ Troxy
June 1 - Dublin, Ireland @ Olympia Theater
June 2 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Göta Lejon
June 3 - Oslo, Norway @ Folketeateret
June 4 - Copenhagen, Denmark @ Dr Koncerthuset
June 6 - Zurich, Switzerland @ Plaza Club
June 9 - Vienna, Austria @ Gasometer
June 10 - Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Melkweg
June 11 - Berlin, Germany @ Columbia Theater
June 14 - Rotterdam, Netherlands @ Villa Thalia
June 15 - Antwerp, Brussels @ Stadsschouwburg
June 16 - Cologne, Germany @ Gloria Theater
June 17 - Hamburg, Germany @ Docks
June 23 - New York City @ Stage 48