“RuPaul’s Drag Race” fan favorite Alyssa Edwards is hitting the road again — her “yellow brick road to fame” — on the “Life, Love and Lashes Tour,” a one-woman show that chronicles her dreams as a shy young gay kid growing up in Texas to achieving international stardom.
“Never in a million years, 11 years after appearing on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 5, could I have imagined this is the life I’d be leading,” said Edwards in a phone interview.
Following a sold-out, critically acclaimed residency at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End last year, this expanded production promises “longer lashes, bigger wigs and louder tongue pop.”
“I actually began planning the show three years ago and knew the show had to be a combination of Elvis Presley, Liberace, rhinestones, drag and all of the above. Then, all of a sudden COVID hit and sent me on a detour. But that gave me time with a pen and pad to share my life and plan, the emancipation of Alyssa Edwards — life, love and lashes,” she said.
She described the emotions she felt each night on that stage in London:
“I remember being there and thinking this is the world I’ve always dreamed of, standing on these stages in front of all these people and entertaining them. It’s the heart, the lifeline, the blood. It’s my life,” said Edwards, whose male alter ego, Justin Dwayne Lee Johnson, still juggles lessons at his Garland, Texas dance studio in between his performances.
Edwards was well received in Europe, where “Drag Race” still tops the ratings each season, but she was concerned audiences would still be concerned about the pandemic and stay away from crowded theaters.
“It was a packed house every night,” she recalled. “People were so thankful, so grateful and appreciative. I would come out of theater doors and it was lined with people. It was incredible, so many different types of people.”
This spring and summer, she’ll be tucking in 26 cities, including stops in Fort Lauderdale on May 31 and Orlando on June 1.
“I am going to live out a stage fantasy on this tour. I have pictured myself doing this — all the things people are expecting — tongue pops will be loaded and the wigs will be higher and the stories will be magical. It’s going to be one night, one queen, one spectacle and you’ll never forget it,” the 42-year-old said. “I didn’t want it to be too scripted because it has to be authentically fun, too.”
And, after three to four hours of getting into drag, followed by a 90-minute performance each night, Edwards basks in the light and love of her fans. For her, the biggest thrill is “unveiling the magic that sets this show in Wonderland.”
When the tour is over, Edwards and her partner plan a trip to Disney or perhaps a tropical vacation. But she won’t be idle for long, as plans for the second season of her Netflix series “Dancing Queen” are in the works and maybe an autobiography.
She concluded, “I do believe my Book of Lives has been written … it’s just now being read out loud.”
Alyssa Edwards brings her “Life, Love & Lashes Tour” to the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday, May 31. Tickets start at $60.93 at BrowardCenter.org.