Review: Once Upon A Nina
I’m sure we all think of the same few things when a fairy tale comes to mind. The simple formula of a damsel in distress, some sort of villain, a prince charming…and drag queens. Wait, what?
Drag queen extraordinaire, Nina West, has taken all of your favorite, well-known fairy tales and molded them into one fabulous revue, showing at Axis Nightclub.
“Once Upon A Nina” also features the talents of Virginia West, Alexis Stevens, Freesia Balls, Candi Panties, Kari Kerning, Chutney Sinclair, and the Candy Drops, Katy, Julie, Lydia, Jamie, and Ryan!
The show begins with video spoofs, such as the show “I love the 80s,” using 1834 as their prime example, and “Toddlers in Tiaras,” showcasing fairy tale moms.
Thereafter starts the marvelous dance numbers, which all connect to a different fairy tale, with exceptional costumes and immensely impressive and lively choreography. In fact, at times I was in awe of the clearly baffling dances, which were all performed in heels, something that I have yet to master walking in.
Perhaps some of my favorite moments were the more hip-hop related numbers. Routines to Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison”, Notorious B.I.G’s “Hypnotize”, and Maroon 5’s “Moves like Jagger” were just a few of the most captivating performances.
Nina and the cast were more than creative with the connection to their fairy tale and song choice. The tale of “Little Bo Peep” was accompanied with Run-D.M.C.’s “Mary, Mary.” The big, bad wolf character performed Nelly Furtado’s “Cannibal.” Peter Pan sang Sugar Ray’s “Fly,” and one of the most enjoyable routines of the night was when Humpty Dumpty was accompanied by an energetic version of Digital Underground’s “The humpty dance.”
For the entire duration of the show, the packed, sold out Axis crowd was entirely enthusiastic and ebullient. From Nina’s rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I want to dance with somebody,” that became more of a sing along as every audience member belted the lyrics, to a spirited performance of The Isley Brothers’ “Shout,” to the ending song, Rihanna’s “We found love,” that brought Axis to it’s original appearance of a dance club, there wasn’t a dull moment all night.
The crowd wasn’t alone in their enthusiasm. Nina was committed to her interaction with everyone. Through pointing out friends, taking shots with a few of the members, and at one point even saying that we were “by far the most incredible audience” that they had for their show.
The night ended with two encores of “Moves Like Jagger” and Nicki Minaj’s “Starships,” which raised around $2500 for the organization Project: Zero Ohio.
And although I’ve accepted the fact that I do indeed to “get out more,” I didn’t expect this to be the start of that pact. But I can say, as cheesy and corny as it sounds, that a huge smile didn’t leave my face the entire night.
“Once Upon A Nina” has remaining shows on April 6 at 8 p.m., and April 7 at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
More information can be found online at www.superdragqueen.com.