"Smoke & Mirrors,” Sasha Velour's first one-queen show, is an effortless blend of drag, visual art, and magic. Velour introduces audiences to a whole new side of her artistry, through 12 dazzling and genre-busting lip-synch performances, all directed and choreographed by the queen herself. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as she explodes into rose petals, vanishes in a poof of smoke, saws herself in half, conjures a rainstorm, even transforms into a tree in front of your eyes (to name just a few). But the real magic is the way that these illusions and deceptions serve to unmask deeper truths, sparking fresh analysis of gender, fame, family, and the importance of dreaming big and living life over-the-top.
Featuring the music of Annie Lennox, Whitney Houston, Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland, Celine Dion, Sia, Nina Simone, Le Tigre and more. Video created by Sasha Velour. Costumes designed by long-time collaborator Diego Montoya.
The show toured Australia and New Zealand with In The Dark Events in January 2019 to rave reviews. It debuted in the U.S. for the first time in March 2019 at New York Live Arts.
About Sasha Velour:
Sasha Velour is a gender-fluid drag queen. Velour won season 9 of the Emmy-winning reality TV competition, Rupaul’s Drag Race. She is the creator and director of the acclaimed drag show Nightgowns, which she has produced in theatres in New York, London, and Los Angeles. Velour's live performances have been called “an entirely new level of performance art” (Yahoo) and “heart-wrenching” (Billboard). She has pioneered the use of projection mapping in lip-synch drag performances, and is known for combining emotional pathos with theatrical stunts. In September 2018 she collaborated with Opening Ceremony to produce, direct, and host their Fall Fashion Show, better known as “The Gift of Showz”. She has appeared in Vogue, Vogue Italia, and Plastik Magazine. Her visual art has been the subject of 2 solo gallery shows in New York (2014 and 2016). In 2017 she drew the Google Doodle of Marlene Dietrich. She is also the creative director (and graphic designer) of the art magazine “Velour” (now released in hardcover Collector’s Edition). In December 2018, Velour spoke and performed at The Smithsonian’s The Long Conversation among the world's leading cancer surgeons and NASA scientists, to share how the power of drag can provide optimism for the future.
Praise for “Smoke & Mirrors”:
"Smoke & Mirrors will make you laugh, make you jump out of your seat, and, certainly, it will make you cry. But ultimately it leaves you loving Sasha Velour, somehow, more than when you entered the theater." - Paper Magazine
"[Sasha Velour] returns with her most spectacular stage gambit yet." - Time Out New York
"'Smoke & Mirrors' is a spellbinding tour de force." - Forbes
"A blend of music, magic tricks and runway-worthy looks." - V Magazine
"“Smoke & Mirrors” is a big, glittery spectacle, befitting a queen of her stature, but it’s also, in many ways, art in hyperfocus." - Bedford + Bowery
“Velour is a genre unto herself.” - The Theater Times
"Velour is one of the great theatre-makers of our time." - CultureBot
Press Features for “Smoke & Mirrors”":
2.14.19 | GAY TIMES Cover Story: Sasha Velour on deconstructing gender and what it would mean for drag
2.18.19 | Access Hollywood: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’s’ Sasha Velour Announces New ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ Show & NYC Residency
3.7.19 | Fast Company: How the fantasy of drag helps Sasha Velour deal with reality
3.12.19 | Time Out New York: Sasha Velour's "Smoke & Mirrors"
3.13.19 | BUILD Series: Sasha Velour Joins the Table to Talk “Smoke & Mirrors”
3.13.19 | V Magazine: Behind the Illusion of Sasha Velour
3.21.19 | Garage Magazine: Sasha Velour's New Show Unpacks The 'Magic Act' of Drag
3.26.19 | Paper Magazine: Review - Sasha Velour's 'Smoke & Mirrors' Will Distort Your Reality
3.27.19 | Bedford+Bowery: Sasha Velour of Drag Race Reflects On Her First Theatrical Show, ‘Smoke & Mirrors’
3.28.19 | Forbes: Sasha Velour's 'Smoke & Mirrors' Is A Spellbinding Tour De Force
3.29.19 | The Theater Times: Sasha Velour’s “Smoke & Mirrors”: Long Live the Queen
Photos are courtesy of Sasha Velour (promo imagery by Tanner Abel) and ITD Presents