Latrice Royale likes to describe herself as large and in charge, yet funky, bold and beautiful.”
The longtime South Florida resident became an international sensation thanks to “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and now she’s coming home to tell her story in a “big” one-woman show, “Here’s to Life.” Royale will give two performances on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center.
“I’m really excited because it’s the big homecoming show,” said Royale, born Timothy Wilcots in Compton, California. “We’ve been around the world, but not home since he conception of the show at Boom nightclub back in the day, about five years ago. It’s a labor of love to share my story and connect all the dots with the hometown landmarks.”
“I’m going to sing live,” she said, “which is something most people didn’t know I could do,” backed up a live band and performances by her drag niece and reigning Miss South Florida Pride, Kennedy Davenport.
“I’m an open book now. I’ve put my life, my story on the line. Everyone knows the truth and I’m putting my air quotes up,” she said with her deep, throaty laugh.
Fans are getting a double dose of Royale this month with the release of RuPaul’s Netflix series “AJ and the Queen.” In the series, RuPaul portrays a drag performer who hits the road after being swindled by a lover, accompanied by an unexpected stowaway in her broken down RV.
Not only did Royale, who excelled in acting challenges on “Drag Race,” make a special guest appearance (as opposed to the many cameos), she served as a story consultant.
“I was asked to come on board while filming the Christmas special in August, about a year ago,” she recalled. “Initially, Ru had asked me to come and be involved in the writers’ room. In the process, we created a guest starring role for me. It was organic. I was honored that Michael Patrick (King) wanted me involved…to hear my stories and incorporate them into some great television.”
Royale is now looking forward to spending more time with her husband at their Hollywood home.
She said, “I love the ocean. That’s why I live in Florida, the water is my sanctuary. That’s where I go to recharge, jet ski, boat, take in nature, look at all those beautiful homes I can’t afford yet. I just bought a new home and plan to spend time in it, but I’ve got to pay for it, too.”
Royale remains introspect about her career: “I don’t know where I’d be without drag. It has literally saved my life…and here I am.”
Latrice Royale presents “Here’s to Live” on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 7 and 9:30 p.m. at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, 3385 N.E. 188th St. in Aventura. Tickets start at $40 at AventuraCenter.org.