Sharon Needles, Phoenix Place Hotel and Suites, 7/21/12


Sharon Needles 3.jpg
Heather Hoch
Sharon Needles grabs some money from his mother.
Sharon performs "open mic" (actually singing) for his first number. He sings about his new home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in a Dr. Frank-N-Furter a la Rocky Horror Picture Show style (think "Sweet Transvestite").

His love for music goes beyond the standard lip sync dance routine--he wants to make music. In fact, he's going to be releasing an album soon, which he says is "poppy as hell," but promises the lyrical content will deliver on songs such as "Dead Girls Don't Say No."

His spooky, sexy style is something you don't see much in the hyper-glamorized world of drag queens, but he says that set him apart from past Drag Race winners and his competition. His mother, Joan Coady, is there in a Peggy Bundy-esque get-up and she calls his make-up "ghosty." He calls her a witch, lovingly.

As he changes into his third and final costume for the meet and greet, which lasted from 1 a.m. until 3 a.m., his teary-eyed mother recounts the night he won Drag Race. She's beaming with motherly pride as Sharon rushes around the room wearing tights to hold in his foam butt and a cleverly tailored "fat girl bra" holding two black socks with large silicone inserts. He laments over the state of his orange wig--a wig his husband made him.

"[My character] can be a little messy. She just crawled out of the grave for Christ's sake," he says of his new character, who he says looks like a dead Jessica Rabbit, a character he's always aspired to look like.

It's easy to see why Sharon's fans are so rabidly obsessed and pushed so intently for his win. His charisma, confidence and kindness -- but not sweetness -- can give anyone chills. Slightly spooky but super passionate, he knows what he's talking about and knows how to get a crowd riled. He's one of those rare nouveau riche who actually didn't let the fame get to his head. He stayed until every fan got a photo and autograph, though he had to be at the airport by 4 a.m. With drive like that, maybe Sharon Needles will be president in 2012. We know who we're voting for, at least.

Critic's Notebook

Last Night: Sharon Needles at Phoenix Place Hotel & Suites

The Crowd: Drag queens, scenesters, weirdos, and outsiders of any kind.

Personal Bias: This was my very first drag show.

Random Notebook Dump: Needles hands his mother a jello shot and asks, "Can you finger this for me?" He proceeds to let out a long, suggestively devious chuckle.

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The Phoenix Place Hotel & Suites

3600 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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